Ryder Cup playoffs on the line at Wyndham

By Associated PressAugust 18, 2010, 9:53 pm
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Anthony Kim could use another push to strengthen his case for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Trevor Immelman’s need this week is even more pressing.

Without a strong showing at the Wyndham Championship, he might not make golf’s postseason.

The final event before the PGA Tour’s lucrative finishing kick starts Thursday and promises to once again be dominated by players trying to make it to other events – either the Ryder Cup or the FedEx Cup playoffs.

“It’s just time for me to get the ball in the hole the next month and prove to him that I’m playing well enough to make that team,” said Kim, part of the winning U.S. team two years ago at Valhalla. The “him” is captain Corey Pavin, who will announce his wild-card selections Sept. 7.

It’s been a rough past few months for the 25-year-old Kim, whose first PGA Tour victory came two years ago and a few hours down the road in Charlotte at the former Wachovia Championship.

Thumb surgery in May cost him three months, and he struggled in both tournaments he played since returning, finishing 16 over at the Bridgestone and missing the cut last week at the PGA.

That dropped him off the list of qualifiers and placed his fate squarely in Pavin’s hands.

“I wouldn’t say added pressure – I really didn’t have anything to lose since I came back,” Kim said Wednesday. “I haven’t put the ball in the hole, and I knew that when I came back, I was going to be rusty. I wish I had practiced a little bit more before I played, but I just wasn’t able to do it. I didn’t put too much pressure on myself, but at the same time, I was hoping for the best. It didn’t turn out that way, and I just got bumped out.”

One thing Kim won’t have to worry about: making it to the playoffs. He arrived at Sedgefield Country Club at No. 14 on the points list, the highest-ranked player in the field. As always, there’s no shortage of players scrambling to lock up a spot at The Barclays.

“I think guys put this on the calendar as a last chance to get a lot of points before you go into the playoffs,” 2007 winner Brandt Snedeker said. “You’ve seen guys jump in the past. … How it can change your year, your career and everything else that goes along with it. That all makes for a very important week.”

Among those looking for a last-minute points boost is Immelman. He’s at No. 154 – 113 points behind No. 125 Michael Letzig – and is chasing his first top-10 finish since 2008.

He’s made the cut in only eight of the 14 tournaments he’s played this year, and playing his fourth tournament since the British Open, needs quite a push just to make it to the next one, next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.

“Obviously, I want to be there. There’s no doubt about it,” Immelman said. “It’s something that every player on the PGA Tour is trying to make sure he’s a part of, plain and simple.

“But I’m in such an interesting phase of my career where the last couple years has sort of been a stop-start. … (I’ve) really struggled to get any momentum,” he added. “It’s been years since I’ve (played this many events). … For me right now, everything is to make sure by the time Jan. 1 comes, I’m able to play a full schedule next year and play the way I know I can.”

He certainly isn’t alone. No. 164 Fred Couples needs to finish third to qualify for The Barclays, while any player ranked 153rd or better who finishes in the top five this week will rack up enough points to reach the first tournament of the playoffs.

On the other side of the bubble is Robert Garrigus, who is looking to keep himself in the postseason fold after arriving at No. 122 and describing the four-week playoff series as “pretty much like four majors.”

“Playing well this week is a big deal,” Garrigus said, “but also you can look at it, just go out and have fun.”
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Davies headlines field at Senior LPGA at French Lick

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 14, 2018, 10:40 pm

Laura Davies will be looking to win her second senior major championship this year when she tees it up in Monday’s start of the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort in Indiana.

Davies, who won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July, will join a field that includes fellow World Golf Hall of Famer Jan Stephenson, who was announced last week with Peggy Kirk Bell as the Hall’s newest members. Hall of Famers Juli Inkster and Hollis Stacy are also in the 54-hole event.

Trish Johnson is back to defend her title after winning the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship a year ago. Brandi Burton, Jane Geddes, Helen Alfredsson and Liselotte Neumann are also in the field of 81 players who will compete for a $600,000 purse, with $90,000 going to the winner.

Golf Channel will televise all three rounds live from 4-6 p.m. ET on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Langer (65) wins regular-season finale by six

By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 10:07 pm

CARY, N.C. – Bernhard Langer ran away with the SAS Championship on Sunday to take the points lead into the PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup playoffs

Langer shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 for a six-stroke victory in the regular-season finale.

''I just played very solid all day long,'' Langer said. ''Putted well, hit the ball where I was looking and did everything exceptionally well.''

The 61-year-old German star has 38 victories on the 50-and-over tour, also winning this year near Houston. He has a record four victories after turning 60.

''I don't have anything to prove, but I still have golf,'' Langer said. ''I still want to improve my own game. I still want to play to the best Bernhard Langer can play. I don't think I need to prove anything, but I love competing, I love winning or being in the hunt. As long as I can do that, I think you're going to see me out here.''

Langer finished with a tournament-record 22-under 194 total at Prestonwood Country Club, the tree-lined layout softened by heavy rain Thursday from Hurricane Michael. He opened with a 62 on Friday to match Gene Sauers and Tom Lehman for the lead, and had a 67 on Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard with Sauers.


Full-field scores from the SAS Championship


''The 10 under was amazing,'' Langer said. ''I couldn't believe there were two other guys who shot 10 under.''

The four-time Charles Schwab Cup winner also won at Prestonwood in 2012.

''It's always fun to go back to where you've won before because you feel like you know how to play the course and you're somewhat comfortable and that's certainly the case here,'' Langer said. ''I've been probably 50, 70 times now around this golf course and I know how to play every hole.''

Scott Parel was second, closing with a double bogey for a 65.

''Bernhard is just in his own world this week,'' Parel said.

Jerry Kelly had a 68 to finish third at 15 under, and Lehman followed at 13 under after a 71.

Sauers shot a 75 to tie for fifth with Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) at 12 under.

The top 72 players in the Schwab Cup standings qualified for the playoffs, the three-event series that begins next week with the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Va. Dan Forsman tied for 56th to jump from 74th to 72nd, edging John Huston for the final spot by $932. Huston tied for 46th.

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Pepperell captures British Masters, eyes Augusta

By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 5:29 pm

WALTON HEATH, England -- Eddie Pepperell won his second European Tour title with a two-shot victory at the British Masters on Sunday and likely secured the even bigger prize of a place in next year's Masters at Augusta National.

The Englishman shot an even-par 72 and held off his playing partner, Sweden's Alexander Bjork (71), as the pair went to the 72nd hole at a wet and windy Walton Heath with Pepperell just a stroke in front.

Pepperell finished on 9-under 279.

Herbert Lucas (69) and Jordan Smith (73) were tied for third, another two shots behind Bjork.

English pair Sam Horsfield (69) and Tom Lewis (70) along with American Julian Suri (74) tied for fifth, one shot in front of tournament host Justin Rose (70).

The victory takes Pepperell into the world's top 35 and almost certainly secures a first appearance at Augusta in 2019. The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year in April.

Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood (72) finished 2 under in a seven-way tie for ninth.


Full-field scores from the British Masters


A top-two finish on Sunday would have seen Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as No. 1 in September

Pepperell was ranked outside the top 500 as recently as May last year, but won the Qatar Masters in February and followed a runner-up finish in the Scottish Open with a tie for sixth in the British Open seven days later, carding a closing 67 at Carnoustie despite saying he had a hangover.

His three-shot overnight lead was down to a single stroke on Sunday when Bjork covered the front nine in 34 and Pepperell three-putted the ninth, the same hole where he enjoyed a spectacular hole-in-one on Thursday.

However, the 27-year-old Pepperell promptly holed his second shot to the 10th from 122 yards for an eagle to move three clear and a par save from off the green on the 14th looked to have sealed the win.

There was still time for some late drama, though, as Pepperell dropped shots on Nos. 15 and 16 to see his lead cut to a single shot, but Bjork bogeyed the 18th after driving into the heather and Pepperell saved par from a greenside bunker.

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Disappointed Sharma fades to T-10 at CIMB

By Will GrayOctober 14, 2018, 1:46 pm

For the second time this year, India's Shubankhar Sharma watched an opportunity for a breakthrough win turn into a learning experience.

Sharma burst onto the scene in March, taking a two-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship only to fade to a tie for ninth. It was a similar story Sunday at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, where Sharma started the final round in a three-way tie for the lead but struggled to an even-par 72 that dropped him into a tie for 10th.

"Disappointing, not really happy with the way I finished," Sharma told reporters.


Full-field scores from CIMB Classic

CIMB Classic: Articles, photos and videos


The 22-year-old was 1 over for his first six holes, but he battled back with four straight birdies on Nos. 7-10 to get within three shots of eventual winner Marc Leishman. But his tee shot at the par-3 11th found the water, leading to the first of three straight bogeys that ended any hopes of victory.

"That was probably one of the worst swings of the day," Sharma said. "That 11th hole I think killed the momentum for me. A par there would have gone a long way, and I probably could have made more birdies after that."

Sharma remained optimistic this spring following his final-round fade in Mexico, and he retained a positive mindset despite a rough afternoon as he eyes upcoming starts at both the CJ Cup in South Korea and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

"Great experience. Very, very good to have two top-10s on the PGA Tour, so that's a good way of looking at it," he said. "Also, it pushes me to keep playing well. I feel like I have it in me to win out there on the PGA Tour, and I've given myself two opportunities. Game is in a decent place now."