Watson Wins Wild 7-Man Palyoff

By Associated PressAugust 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
Boeing ClassicSNOQUALMIE, Washington -- Denis Watson eagled the second hole of a seven-man playoff to win the Boeing Classic on Sunday.
 
Playing No. 18 for the third time in an hour, Watson hit a 3-wood to about 18 feet, then made a 22-foot putt, giving an emphatic fist pump as the ball dropped to end the largest playoff in Champions Tour history.
 
Craig Stadler missed a long eagle putt from the front of the green, and R.W. Eaks missed his 12-footer for eagle.
 
It was the second victory of the season for Watson, who won the Senior PGA Championship in May.
 
Gil Morgan, Joe Ozaki, Dana Quigley and David Eger also finished at 9 under for the tournament after a wild final nine holes where the lead changed on almost every hole.
 
To start the playoff, all seven went off the 18th tee in the same group, but only Morgan was in position to reach to the green in two. His 5-wood was struck well, but the ball was slightly left of the flag and landed in the bunker next to the green.
 
Eaks hit a perfect pitch with his third shot to 18 inches, putting pressure on the others. Watson hit his wedge over the green onto the fringe, but chipped in from 23 feet, forcing others to make birdie to stay in the playoff.
 
Only Eaks and Stadler were able to match. Stadler confidently sunk his 22-foot putt, while Eaks patiently waited before tapping in his birdie putt.
 
Morgan and Eger missed 12-foot birdie putts, while Ozaki's shot out of the green-side bunker hit the edge of the cup but rolled past.
 
Watson, Eaks and Stadler went back and played 18 again. All three reached the green in two, but Watson kept the playoff from continuing.
 
The previous playoff record was five players, which happened twice.
 
Watson could have avoided a playoff and won in regulation if not for his tee shot on the 17th. Leading by two shots, Watson pulled his shot on the par-3 into a small pond fronting the green. Watson made double bogey on the hole, then made par on the 18th.
 
Watson and Morgan started the day at 6 under, four back of qualifier Ray Stewart, who led after the first two rounds. Watson and Morgan both shot 69, while Ozaki, Stadler and Eaks all shot 67.
 
The low round came from Eger, who was out early and finished with a 6-under 66. Eger, the 2005 champion in the first year of the event, sat around with an unopened beer next to him waiting to see how the final holes played out.
 
Stewart, the sentimental favorite from Abbotsford, British Columbia, played a solid first two rounds, but was shaky on the front nine. He still held the lead at the turn, but fell apart on Nos. 15 and 17. Playing in the final group and trailing Watson by one, Stewart four-putted the 15th green for double bogey. He astonishingly rebounded to birdie 16, but then matched Watson and hit his tee shot on No. 17 into the water.
 
Stewart birdied the final hole, but finished one shot out of the playoff. He was trying to become the first Monday qualifier in Champions Tour history to win a tournament wire-to-wire. Only 10 qualifiers have ever won a tour event, the last being Pete Oakley at the 2004 Senior British Open.
 
Jerry Pate also missed the playoff by a shot after missing a 2-foot par putt on No. 18.
 
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    Chamblee comments on Choi's unique step-through swing

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 24, 2018, 3:55 pm

    The golf world found itself enamored with a largely unknown journeyman this weekend.

    Ho-sung Choi went from 554th in the world to No. 1 in the hearts of all those who swing the golf club just a little bit differently thanks to his run at the Korean Open.

    The 44-year-old with the exaggerated step through impact found himself two off the pace through 54 holes and in contention for one of two available invitations to this year's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Choi fell out of the hunt for tournament title and the Open exemption with a final-round 74, but nonetheless left an impression with his tie for fifth.



    Asked about Choi's swing Saturday night, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offered the following:

    "If Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player had a golf school, what would their first professional golfer swing like? Voila," Chamblee said.

    "Both those legends had walk through finishes, but Ho Sung has taken this move to a new level with a borderline pirouette to keep from hanging back.

    "In an era when professional golfers get accused of having golf swings that all look alike, I’ve never seen anyone swing quite like Ho Sung Choi.

    "I can’t wait to try this on the range tomorrow."

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    Wallace holds off charges to win BMW International

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 3:43 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany - England's Matt Wallace shot a 7-under 65 to hold off a record-breaking charge from Thorbjorn Olesen and win the BMW International Open on Sunday.

    Wallace finished on 10-under 278 - just ahead of Olesen, Mikko Korhonen and 2008 winner Martin Kaymer, whose chances took a blow with a bogey on the 17th hole.

    ''I want to keep building on this,'' Wallace said after his third European Tour win. ''Obviously this gives me a lot of confidence to go on and play well and I want to kick on and hopefully do this in the bigger events from now on.''


    Full-field scores from the BMW International Open


    Olesen had played himself into contention with the lowest round in tournament history, with nine birdies and an eagle for an 11-under 61. It was the lowest round of his European Tour career and it gave the Dane a three-shot lead before the final group had even teed off.

    ''I was just trying today to go out there and build on my game, see if I could shoot a low score,'' Olesen said. ''Obviously as the round progressed I kept on thinking birdies and trying to make the round better. Finishing with four birdies was pretty nice.''

    Wallace turned in 34 but then made five birdies in seven holes from the turn to edge a shot past Olesen. He waited as Kaymer and Korhonen went close with rounds of 68 and 67, respectively.

    England's Aaron Rai and Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard finished joint-fifth with rounds of 69.

    Sunghyun Park (left) and Minchel Choi (right). Getty Images

    Choi, Park qualify for Carnoustie from Korean Open

    By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 2:54 pm

    Two players - Minchel Choi and Sanghyun Park - qualified for next month's Open Championship at Carnoustie via the Open Qualifying Series on Sunday.

    Choi (69) held off Park (66) to win the Korean Open by two shots.

    This was the Qualifying Series debut for the Korean Open, whiched awarded Open Championship exemptions to the tournament's top two finishers inside the top eight and ties who were not already qualified.

    Choi, the 532nd-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, punched his ticket in his first professional win.

    Park, the 146th in the world, is a six-time Korean Tour champion who has already won twice this season. 

    Both players will be making their first ever major starts.

    “I am absolutely honored to be playing in The Open and I wanted to win this championship to give me [that] opportunity," Choi said. "I cannot believe that I have won today. I am so happy and excited."

    “It is a great honor to have qualified for The Open and make my first appearance in the championship," Park added. "I’ve watched The Open on television every single year and I can’t really believe that I have qualified, it is amazing."

    The Open Qualifying Series continues next week at the Open de France, where as many as three exemptions will be awarded to the three leading players inside the top 10 and ties who are not already qualified.

    The 147th Open will be held at Carnoustie from July 19-22.

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    Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

    ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

    The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

    Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

    ''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

    The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

    Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

    ''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

    Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

    First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.