Quiros wins with spectacular 72nd hole eagle

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2011, 1:30 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Spaniard Alvaro Quiros holed a 40-foot eagle putt on the 18th to clinch a two-shot win over 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie at the Dubai World Championship on Sunday as No. 1-ranked Luke Donald became the first golfer in history to win both the American and European money titles.

The 34-year-old Donald, who won the American title earlier this year, had to finish better than ninth or hope his only rival, Rory McIlroy, didn’t win the tournament. He finished third while McIlroy, who has struggled with a lingering virus all week, finished with a 9-under 279 and a tie for 11th in the tournament. That left McIlroy more than $1.34 million behind Donald in the money race.

“It’s funny to kind of sum up my feelings,” said Donald, who has just come back from five weeks off in which he buried his father Colin and was on hand for the birth of his second child.

“You know, this is something I’ve wanted for the past few months, to try and win both money lists,” Donald said. “It’s very strange because I looked at the leaderboard on 13 and couldn’t see Rory. I couldn’t see Rory’s name on there and the leaders were playing well, and at that point, I kind of knew I had made history and the last six holes were kind of surreal.”

Quiros finished with a 19-under total of 269 on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Donald was three shots behind Quiros after he ran off three birdies in a row for a 6-under 66. Peter Hanson of Sweden was fourth, a further two shots back, and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was in fifth a further shot behind.

The big-hitting Quiros came into the final day with a two-shot lead but squandered it after he had three bogeys on the front nine to go with five birdies. Lawrie, who led after the first day, took the lead after he notched five birdies in his first eight holes.

But Lawrie bogeyed the 12th after an approach shot missed the green and Quiros then birdied the 14th to take the lead for good. Lawrie’s short game continued to haunt him when an errant chip on 16 cost him a birdie chance. Then, the 42-year-old Lawrie missed a 6-foot birdie putt at the 17th that would have tied it.

Quiros managed to reach the 18th green in two while Lawrie was there in three. Quiros clinched the win with a 40-foot eagle putt. The Spaniard pumped his fist as the crowd cheered. The win was just Quiros’ second this year on the tour—after the Dubai Desert Classic—and sixth overall on the tour.

It was a much happier ending than a week ago, when Quiros had a three-shot lead going into the final round of the Hong Kong Open. He let it slip after erratic drives and poor putting resulted in him finishing in a tie for seventh and five shots behind eventual winner McIlroy, who holed a greenside bunker shot to win.

Quiros praised the rivalry that developed over the final round with Lawrie, who ended a nine-year drought earlier this year with a tournament victory in Spain.

“I was hitting good shots all day but, as I said, Paul was marvelous,” he said. “He was holing every single putt. He was in contention every single time. I think he was just one or two times in trouble and the second one was on 12. From this moment onwards, it changed the situation completely.”

Quiros said he felt he had the advantage coming into the par-5 18th. But even with the one-shot lead, the 28-year-old Spaniard said he never considered laying up because Lawrie was putting so well and Donald had moved into contention with a string of birdies down the stretch. He also was worried about his slim lead, after Lawrie’s approach shot came down within 12 feet of the cup. He would eventually sink it for a birdie.

“I heard the people’s roars after Luke holed a good putt on 17 and 18 and obviously Paul just was one shot behind me,” Quiros said. “He (Lawrie) hit a good shot and the way he was putting all day, I thought, you know, the putt that he has is very hole-able, makable. I was looking to give myself a chance, a meter-and-a half around the hole … And then the putt was simple as, perfect, genius.”

Lawrie refused to dwell on his mistakes, insisting he had done everything to win. Rather than talk about any one hole Sunday, he alluded to Friday where he drove the ball poorly on the way to a 1-over 73 which cost him the first-round lead.

“I think anybody would tell you they are disappointed not to win,” Lawrie said. “I probably did enough to have a chance coming down the 18th and that’s all you can do. Alvaro, he’s got at least 250 yards uphill into the wind on 18 with a 3-wood off a hanging lie. Any time you make a 3 off that lie, he’s a worthy winner.”

Despite finishing second, the 42-year-old Lawrie said his performance has given him hope that he still has a future on the tour and possibly a few more victories.

“I worked very hard last winter and hit a lot of balls and put a lot of time in,” he said. “I knew I was 42 and time is running out a wee bit. So if you are going have another go at it, you might as well go now. So nice to be in there and thereabouts have a chance to win tournaments again.”

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Horschel (68) builds on momentum at Valero

By Will GrayApril 20, 2018, 12:32 am

Billy Horschel only ever needs to see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

While some players require a slow ascent from missed cuts to contending on the weekend, Horschel's switches between the two can often be drastic. Last year he missed three straight cuts before defeating Jason Day in a playoff to win the AT&T Byron Nelson, a turnaround that Horschel said "still shocks me to this day."

The veteran is at it again, having missed five of six cuts prior to last week's RBC Heritage. But a few tweaks quickly produced results, as Horschel tied for fifth at Harbour Town. He wasted no time in building on that momentum with a bogey-free, 4-under 68 to open the Valero Texas Open that left him one shot behind Grayson Murray.

"I'm a big momentum player. I've got to get the train moving forward," Horschel told reporters Thursday. "I've always been a guy who gets on a little roll, get that train moving and jump into the winner's circle. So yeah, it would have been great to win last week, but it was just nice to play four really good rounds of golf."

Many big names tend to skip this week's stop at TPC San Antonio, but Horschel has managed to thrive on the difficult layout in recent years. He finished third in both 2013 and 2015, and tied for fourth in 2016.

With a return next week to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans where he notched his first career win in 2013 and a title defense in Dallas on the horizon, Horschel believes he's turning things around at just the right time.

"Gets the momentum going, carry it into this week, next week, which I've had a lot of success at," Horschel said. "Really the rest of the year, from here on in I have a lot of really good events I've played well in."

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Three years later, PXG launches new iron

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 19, 2018, 11:22 pm

Three years is a long time between launches of club lines, but Bob Parsons, founder and CEO of PXG, says his company had a very good reason for waiting that long to introduce its second-generation irons.

“Three years ago, when we introduced our first generation 0311 iron, we made a commitment that we would not release a product unless it was significantly better than our existing product,” Parsons said. “:Our GEN2 irons are better than our GEN1 irons in every respect. We believe it’s the best iron ever made, and the second-best iron ever made is our GEN1 iron.”

PXG’s 0311 GEN2 irons, which officially went on sale today, feature what the company says is the world’s thinnest clubface. They have a forged 8620 soft carbon steel body and PXG’s signature weighting technology. The hollow clubheads are filled with a new polymer material that PXG says not only dampens vibration, but also produces higher ball speeds and thus more distance.

The irons come in four “collections” – Tour Performance, Players, Xtreme Forgiveness and Super Game Improvement.

Cost is $400 per iron, or $500 for PXG’s “Extreme Dark” finish. Price includes custom fitting. For more information, visit www.pxg.com.

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Maggert and Parnevik lead at Bass Pro Shops

By Associated PressApril 19, 2018, 10:49 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik shot an 8-under 63 in better-ball play Thursday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' chilly Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

''It was very relaxing for me because I felt like terrible,'' Parnevik said. ''I was so stiff this morning. It was freezing cold. I thought if I can just try to make some pars in case he ever makes a bogey, but I didn't even have to do that.''

Playing together for the first time in the team event, Maggert and Parnevik eagled the par-5 eighth and had six birdies in the cool and breezy conditions on Big Cedar Lodge's Buffalo Ridge course.

''We play well together,'' Maggert said. ''We both contributed a lot. Jesper had a lot of birdies and an eagle on our final nine. It was so cold this morning, I just was going to come out and just try to hit fairways and greens. Really I wasn't thinking about making birdies, I was just trying to play steady and give myself an opportunity to have some birdie putts.''


Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


The next three rounds will be played on par-3 courses. Maggert and Parnevik will play the 18-hole Top of the Rock on Friday and Sunday, and the 13-hole Mountain Top on Saturday.

Mark Calcavecchia and Woody Austin were a stroke back. They also eagled No. 8. Austin won the 2016 title with Michael Allen. Calcavecchia won the Boca Raton Championship this year.

''I lucked in a few birdies on the back, but it was tough, tough conditions,'' Calcavecchia said. ''Even when it warmed up a little bit, it was still tough to make birdies out there. All in all, 7 under's a pretty good start.''

Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman were at 65 along with Davis Love III-Scott Verplank, 2015 winners Billy Andrade-Joe Durant, Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett and Steve Flesch-David Toms.

''We kind of brother-in-lawed or ham-and-egged it or partnered it,'' Love said. ''Neither one of us were playing great, but we had one guy in every hole and that's kind of what you have to do. We're going to have to go to the par 3 courses and get two birdie putts on a hole is what you really want to do and we didn't do that enough today.''

Flesch won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic last week for his first senior title.

Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly were tied for 22nd at 68.

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Dredge, Quiros share early lead in Morocco

By Associated PressApril 19, 2018, 8:41 pm

RABAT, Morocco - Bradley Dredge reeled off three birdies in his last five holes to share the lead with Alvaro Quiros after the opening round of the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II event Thursday.

Quiros finished with two straight birdies as the big-hitting Spaniard joined Welshman Dredge on 5-under-par 67.

Dredge, who made seven birdies in all, has won twice before but his last triumph came in 2006.


Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II


Quiros, who has claimed seven victories, last won at the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily last year.

The joint leaders have a one-shot advantage over Oliver Fisher, Joakim Lagergren, Erik Van Rooyen and Lorenzo Gagli at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course.

Former U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett, without a win since his victory at Augusta two years ago, opened with a 1-over 73.