Pettersson wins Wyndham Championship

By Associated PressAugust 17, 2008, 4:00 pm
Wydham ChampionshipGREENSBORO, N.C. ' Carl Pettersson was one imperfect hole from leading the full final two rounds of the Wyndham Championship. It was that brief slip-up that propelled the Swede to victory in his adopted hometown.
 
Pettersson won his local tournament for his first PGA TOUR victory in two years, shooting a 2-under 68 on Sunday for a two-stroke victory at Sedgefield Country Club.
 
Irked by a bogey on the 11th hole that temporarily dropped him into second place, Pettersson responded with three birdies during the four-hole stretch that followed to finish at 21-under 259 and earn $918,000.
 
Not getting it up and down on 11 kind of (ticked) me off, Pettersson said. I kind of told myself, Im letting the tournament get away from me again. That was where the tournament was won for me.
 
Scott McCarron briefly led midway through the final round before fading into second with a 68. Rich Beems second straight 63 left him four strokes off the lead, with J.J. Henry (62) and rookie Martin Laird (63) another shot behind him.
 
But there was never any question that the last day of the PGA TOUR's final pre-playoff event was anything but a two-man showdown.
 
Pettersson made his move immediately after slipping out of the lead for the first time since Friday, when his tournament-record 61 in Round 2 shot him up the leaderboard. He began the back nine with consecutive bogeys, falling one stroke back to 19 under when he missed an 8-foot par putt on the 11th.
 
I kind of felt like I let the tournament slip away on 10 and 11, Pettersson said.
 
McCarron gave the stroke back on the 12th, missing a 13-foot birdie putt and lipping out a 4-foot par attempt during just his second bogey, then saying afterward that I thought I kind of let it go on that hole.
 
I told myself on the next tee box, I got my momentum. Ive got to put the pressure on Scott and hit a great tee shot. Ive got a chance to really put the hammer down,' Pettersson said. And I managed to do it.
 
Pettersson birdied the 13th for a one-stroke lead, then went back up by two shots with a birdie on the par-5 15th ' the easiest hole on the course for everyone but him, after two bogeys and a par on it. This time it was McCarrons turn for trouble; he sent his second shot into the sand, recovered and lipped out an 8-foot birdie putt.
 
That hole has not been very good to me, Pettersson said. Finally feel like you got one back on that hole.
 
McCarrons bogey on the 17th all but locked up Petterssons first victory since the 2006 Memorial. Among those joining in the celebration were N.C. State coach Richard Sykes and former Wolfpack teammate Tim Clark, who tied for sixth.
 
Pettersson is a Swede who moved to Greensboro as a teen, played at North Carolina State, lives a 90-minute drive away in Raleigh and serves on the tournaments board.
 
It will be a great satisfaction just to think about, you know, pulled it off and did it and its a wonderful feeling, Pettersson said. Doesnt happen that often in golf unless youre Tiger Woods.
 
McCarron ' who had used two early birdies to erase the two-stroke lead that Pettersson brought into the round ' was denied his fourth career victory and first since 2001. It was the second top-10 finish of the year for the PGA TOUR veteran who sat out the 2007 season after having surgery to repair a tendon in his right elbow.
 
Second place is obviously tough to swallow right now, but Ill probably be pretty happy here when I realize Ive got a job for the rest of the year, McCarron said.
 
Beem and Henry both finished strong and propelled themselves off the FedExCup bubble and into the playoffs, which begin later this week at The Barclays.
 
I knew I had to play my butt off just to make it up there, Beem said. I didnt want to have four weeks off, you know, and Im glad at least I got into the first one.
 
Beem had birdies on four of his last six holes, jumping 52 spots to 114th, while Henry, who birdied four of his final five holes, moved up 42 spots to 135th. Laird, who shared the first-day lead with Bob Heintz before falling off the pace, wound up jumping 36 spots to 128th.
 
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    Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

    By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

    After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

    The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

    The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

    Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

    “I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

    In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.

    “It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

    The Tour did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the agreement or the end to the lawsuit.

    Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

    “It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”

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    PGA Tour Latinoamerica moving season finale to Doral

    By Nick MentaOctober 18, 2018, 2:36 pm

    PGA Tour Latinoamérica 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 Latinoamérica 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 as then-candidate Donald 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 Latinoamérica 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 Latinoamérica'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 create a $1 billion dollar complex comprising of the proposed stadium, youth soccer fields, a park, commercial and retail space, and a hotel.

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    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.