Tim Clark wins The Players Championship

By Doug FergusonMay 10, 2010, 2:52 am

The Players Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tim Clark was good enough to win on three continents and play on three Presidents Cup teams. He was better than everyone but Phil Mickelson in the 2006 Masters.

Good enough to win on the PGA Tour? Clark was starting to wonder.

In more than eight years and 204 tournaments on golf’s toughest circuit, he was a runner-up eight times but nothing more. The worst moment was last year at Colonial, where he missed two putts to win, in regulation and a playoff.

“There was a part of me that thought, ‘Man, what have I been doing?’ When you play that many tournaments, and when you have weeks where you feel like you’ve played well enough to win and you haven’t, it gets a bit frustrating,” Clark said. “You do start to wonder, ‘When is it going to happen for me?’

“Luckily for me, this week I did play my best,” he said. “That’s about as good as I can play.”

Regarded as one of the best players to have never won on the PGA Tour, Clark ended that conversation Sunday by beating the best field in golf at The Players Championship.

And he did it in style.

Trailing by seven shots going into the weekend, Clark set a TPC Sawgrass record with the largest 36-hole comeback, breaking by one the previous mark by Tiger Woods in 2001.

On a frightening Stadium Course that played its toughest in the final round – the greens were so firm they were brown – he didn’t make a single bogey. The 34-year-old South African dropped only one shot on the weekend, and he played the final 26 holes at par or better.

The streak never mattered more than on the final hole.

Having survived the famous island-green 17th hole, Clark faced an 8-foot par putt on the 18th hole. He had a two-shot lead over Robert Allenby of Australia and Lee Westwood of England, but they still had three holes to play, including the par-5 16th that could easily be reached in two shots with an iron.

For Clark, it was about the same length he faced at Colonial last year. It was close to the same length of the birdie putt at the Bob Hope Classic this year, when he finished one shot behind.

“I knew I needed that putt, and I knew I needed it at the Colonial,” Clark said. “Today, I just trusted myself and just tried to get into that shot and tried to hit that shot as best as I could. That’s really the whole key. I think in the past, I’ve maybe been thinking about winning way too much. Today, I just tried to hit every shot as good as I could.”

Allenby hit them just as well. He just didn’t hit two putts quite hard enough.

Allenby can relate to Clark, having won plenty around the world, but not on the PGA Tour since September 2001. Two shots behind, he drilled his approach into 18 feet for eagle and a share of the lead. It lacked just enough pace to fall in.

One shot behind on the 17th, Allenby hit another pure shot that cleared the water, the bunker and looked as though it would funnel to the hole for a tap-in birdie. Instead, it checked up. His putt looked good all the way until it rolled up to the edge of the cup, then turned away. Allenby was so shocked he walked to the edge of the water, and no one would have blamed him for jumping in.

“For it to go up to the hole and take a little look over the top and then come back, that was a bit rude,” Allenby said. “But obviously, the golfing gods were with Tim today, and I can accept that. I did everything that I could possibly do to try and win the tournament.”

Allenby closed with a 70 to finish runner-up for the seventh time since his last PGA Tour victory.

Clark finished at 16-under 272 and earned $1.71 million from the richest prize in golf. It comes with a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, and a three-year exemption to the Masters.

U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover wound up third with a strong finish – a 31 on the back nine, including a 50-foot birdie putt on the 17th.

Westwood tied for fourth, four shots behind, although he had as good of a chance as anyone. He had a one-shot lead going into the final round, just as he did at the Masters, and held it going to the back nine.

Clark, however, ran off four straight birdies starting and ending with 18-foot putts on No. 9 and No. 12 to take the lead. Westwood, who made so many clutch pars early in the round, kept within two shots by making a 50-foot par on the 15th.

But his birdie putt caught the lip on the 16th, and his tee shot on the 17th clattered against the boards and went into the water, giving him a double bogey.

“Disappointed, but not something I’m going to pull my hair out over,” Westwood said. “If you don’t play well, you don’t deserve to win. And I just didn’t play well over the weekend.”

No one will question whether Clark played well. He was simply at his best.

“I did all I could out there,” Clark said when he finished his round. “That’s as good as I could have played. I feel like I hit every shot I like I wanted to today.”

It led to the best feeling of all – a victory on the PGA Tour.

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Salas (62) leads LPGA's Indy Women in Tech

By Associated PressAugust 17, 2018, 12:50 am

INDIANAPOLIS - Lizette Salas matched the Brickyard Crossing record with a 10-under 62 on Thursday in the Indy Women in Tech Championship, making birdie on the final three holes for a two-stroke lead over fast-starting Angel Yin and Japan's Nasa Hataoka.

Yin birdied eight of the first nine holes in her morning round for a front-nine 8-under 28 - one short of the LPGA Tour's nine-hole record. It matched the third-lowest nine-hole score in relation to par in tour history.

Full-field scores from Indy Women in Tech Championship

Salas eagled the par-5 second in the afternoon and added three straight birdies on Nos. 4-6. She birdied Nos. 12 and 14 before reeling off three more in a row to close, waiting out a late 77-minute suspension for an approaching storm.

Salas matched the course record set by Mike McCullough in the PGA Tour Champions' 1999 Comfort Classic.

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Sordet opens with 62 to grab lead at Nordea Masters

By Associated PressAugust 16, 2018, 11:23 pm

GOTHENBURG, Sweden - Clement Sordet opened with four straight birdies to shoot 8-under 62 and take the first-round lead of the Nordea Masters on Thursday.

Sordet says ''I wasn't really focusing on the score, I was just enjoying it.''

The Frenchman, who shot his lowest European Tour round, has a two-stroke lead over Scott Jamieson of Scotland and Lee Slattery of England.

Hunter Stewart is the highest-placed American after a 5-under 65 left him on a four-way tie for fourth with Christofer Blomstrand, Tapio Pulkkanen and Richard Green.

Defending champion Renato Paratore's hopes of becoming the first player to successfully retain the title look in doubt after the Italian shot 9-over 79 at Hills Golf Club.

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Peterson confirms plans to play Web.com Finals

By Will GrayAugust 16, 2018, 9:17 pm

After flirting with retirement for much of the summer, John Peterson confirmed that he will give it one more shot in the upcoming Web.com Tour Finals.

Peterson, 29, had planned to walk away from the game and begin a career in real estate in his native Texas if he failed to secure PGA Tour status before his medical extension expired. His T-13 finish last month at The Greenbrier appeared to be enough to net the former NCAA champ at least conditional status, but a closer look at the numbers revealed he missed out by 0.58 points in his last available start.

Full-field scores from Wyndham Championship

Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos

But Peterson was buoyed by the support he received from his peers at The Greenbrier, and when he got into the Barbasol Championship as a late alternate he decided to make the trip to the tournament. He tied for 21st that week in Kentucky, clinching enough non-member FedExCup points to grant him a spot in the four-event Finals.

Last month Peterson hinted that he would consider playing in the Finals, where 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season will be up for grabs, and Thursday he confirmed in an Instagram post that he will give his pro career "one last push."

The Finals kick off next week in Ohio with the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship and will conclude Sept. 20-23 with the Web.com Tour Championship. Peterson will be looking to rekindle his results from 2013, when he finished T-5 or better at each of the four Finals events while earning fully-exempt status as the top money earner.

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Lyle honored with sand sculpture at Wyndham

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 16, 2018, 9:00 pm

Jarrod Lyle passed away last week at the age of 36 after losing his third battle with cancer.

And after a PGA Championship filled with tributes to the Australian, the Wyndham Championship found its own way to keep his legacy alive at the North Carolina Tour stop.

Next to the Wyndham Championship and PGA Tour logos carved into the sand on site at Sedgefield Country Club is Lyle's name and the "Leuk the Duck" mascot. The duck has become synonymous with Challenge, an organization that supports kids with cancer.

Fellow Aussie Stuart Appleby posted the display on social media:

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(Pic update) Brighter is better

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Lyle was also remembered in a more traditional manner on the first tee, where his bag and trademark yellow bucket hat were prominently displayed.