Westwood in hunt for 2nd European money title

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2009, 5:29 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)—After a disappointing performance in HongKong last week, Lee Westwood knows that victory in this week’s Dubai WorldChampionship would clinch his second European Tour money title.

The final tournament in the Race to Dubai series starts Thursday with theEnglish golfer seeking to overtake Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and win hisfirst Order of Merit since 2000.

Westwood trails McIlory by $191,000 on the money list going into the $7.5million tournament. Germany’s Martin Kaymer and England’s Ross Fisher are alsoin contention for the money title.

Westwood shot a final-round 74 on Sunday in the Hong Kong Open, his worstrecorded score in 37 rounds stretching back to the U.S. Open at Bethpage inJune.

If he wins in Dubai, he’ll collect a first-place prize of $1.25 million andthe money crown. Westwood would earn an extra $1.5 million from the $7.5 millionbonus pool which will be distributed among the top 15 in the money list.

“I will not be looking at the positions of the other three players in theRace during the tournament,” said Westwood, taking his first look Tuesday atthe Greg Norman -designed Earth Course in a pro-am played as the desert heatreached 35 degrees (95 f). “I have come here to try to win the golf tournamentand if I do everything will take care of itself after that.”

Westwood led the Race to Dubai before Hong Kong, where he finish in a tiefor 54th place and McIlroy moved to the top of the money leaderboard byfinishing second.

Westwood, who finished tied for third at both the British Open and U.S. PGA,blamed his dip in form on the complex greens in Hong Kong.

“When I got to Fanling and took a look at that golf course I thoughtimmediately that it was not the kind of golf course that suits me, so I havejust put that to the back of my mind to try to play this one this week, which Ithink will suit me a bit better,” he said.

“In the grand scheme of things what happened last week is irrelevant,compared to what’s on for this week and the effect that a good performance herein Dubai could have.”

The 24-year-old Kaymer led the Race to Dubai in midsummer after producingback-to-back wins at the lucrative French and Scottish Opens.

But his chances slipped in August when he broke three small bones in hisleft foot in a go-karting accident near his American home in Scottsdale,Arizona.

Kaymer returned to competitive golf in late October and is now in thirdplace on the list, trailing McIlroy by $307,000. He finished tied for second inhis comeback at the Castello Masters and believes his golf is ready to challengethe two players ahead of him.

“My goal for my career has always been to be the best player in Europe andI have a really good chance,” Kaymer said. “My foot is only 80-90 percenthealed by when I got back to playing golf in Castellon and played well there Iknew I still had a chance of winning the Race to Dubai.”

The Dubai World Championship field was originally restricted to the top 60players in the European money list at the end of the Hong Kong Open.

However, since England’s Paul Casey withdrew with a rib injury and AnthonyKim declined to participate citing tiredness at the end of a long season, only58 players will tee up on Thursday.

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Watch: Gary Player tires people out with sit-ups

By Grill Room TeamJune 24, 2018, 11:33 pm

Well all know Gary Player is a fitness nut, and at 82 years young he is still in phenomenal shape.

That's why it was incredible to see two mere mortals like us try to keep up with him in a sit-up competition at the BMW International Open.

Watch the video below.

The guy in blue makes the smart decision and bows out about halfway through. But give the other guy an "A" for effort, he stuck with Player for about 60 sit-ups, and then the nine-time major champion just starts taunting him.

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Japan teen Hataoka rolls to NW Ark. win

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 11:07 pm

ROGERS, Ark. - Japanese teenager Nasa Hataoka ran away with the NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA title

The 19-year-old Hataoka won by six strokes, closing with an 8-under 63 at Pinnacle Country Club for a tournament-record 21-under 192 total. She broke the mark of 18 under set last year by So Yeon Ryu.

Hataoka won twice late last year on the Japan LPGA and has finished in the top 10 in five of her last six U.S. LPGA starts, including a playof loss last month in the Kingsmill Championship.

Hataoka began the round tied with Minjee Lee for the lead.

Austin Ernst shot a 65 to finish second.

Lee and third-ranked Lexi Thompson topped the group at 13 under.

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Tour investigating DeChambeau's use of compass

By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 10:09 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Bryson DeChambeau’s reliance on science to craft his play on the course is well known, but he took things to a new level this week at the Travelers Championship when television cameras caught him wielding a compass while looking at his yardage book during the third round.

According to DeChambeau, it’s old news. He’s been using a compass regularly to aid in his preparation for nearly two years, dating back to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October 2016.

“I’m figuring out the true pin locations,” DeChambeau said. “The pin locations are just a little bit off every once in a while, and so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot. And that’s it.”

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

But social media took notice this weekend, as did PGA Tour officials. DeChambeau explained that he was approached on the range Saturday and informed that the Tour plans to launch an investigation into whether or not the device is allowable in competition, with a decision expected in the next week.

It’s not the first time the 24-year-old has gone head-to-head with Tour brass, having also had a brief run with side-saddled putting earlier in his career.

“They said, ‘Hey, we just want to let you know that we’re investigating the device and seeing if it’s allowable,’” DeChambeau said. “I understand. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.”

DeChambeau won earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament, and the Tour’s ruling would not have any retroactive impact on his results earlier this year. Playing alongside tournament winner Bubba Watson in the final round at TPC River Highlands, DeChambeau shot a final-round 68 to finish in a tie for ninth.

“It’s a compass. It’s been used for a long, long time. Sailors use it,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.”

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Bubba fires 63 to win his third Travelers title

By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 9:52 pm

Bubba Watson fired a final-round 63 to storm from six back and steal the Travelers Championship. Here’s how Bubba came from behind once again at TPC River Highlands.

Leaderboard: Bubba Watson (-17), Stewart Cink (-14), Beau Hossler (-14), J.B. Holmes (-14), Paul Casey (-14)

What it means: This is Watson’s 12th PGA Tour win, his third of the season, and his third Travelers title. Watson picked up his first Tour victory at this event in 2010 – when he also came from six back – and won again in 2015 in a playoff victory over – guess who – Casey. Thinking he might need a round of 60 to scare the leader, Watson made eight birdies, the last of which came on the 72nd hole, giving him the outright lead by one. A short while later, Casey would bogey the 16th and 17th to end the drama and allow Bubba to breathe easy. With the win, Watson becomes the only Tour player to win three times this season. He moves to third in the FedExCup points race, behind two-time winners Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.

Round of the day: Cink’s round was a stroke better, but Bubba earns this title for winning the title. The left-hander made the turn in 2-under 33 and then ripped off five birdies on his back nine to take the clubhouse lead, which he wouldn’t relinquish.

Best of the rest: Cink looked as though he was going to record the second sub-60 round at the Travelers in the last three years. The 2009 champion golfer of the year played his first 10 holes in 7 under par on the par-70 layout. Cink added three more birdies but also added two bogeys to settle for 8-under 62, tying the round of the week. The 45-year-old has finished T-4 and T-2 in his last two starts.

Biggest disappointment: Casey (2-over 72) began the day up four and couldn’t close. Even par on his round through 15 holes, he missed a 4-footer for par on 16 and found the water off the tee at 17, ending his chances. The Englishman, who ended a nine-year Tour winless drought earlier this season at the Valspar, is now 1 for 4 with a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

Shot of the day: Watson’s wedge from 77 yards at the 72nd hole, setting up his eighth and final birdie of the day.

Quote of the day: “That’s the best shot you ever hit.” – caddie Ted Scott to Bubba Watson on his approach at 18