Stat attack!: OHL Classic at Mayakoba review

By John AntoniniNovember 17, 2014, 12:43 am

Charley Hoffman’s third PGA Tour victory – a one-stroke win over Shawn Stefani at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba – was forged on the opening nine holes of the El Camaleon Course. With 14 birdies on Nos. 1-9, Hoffman's scoring average on the front was 32.50, trailing only Danny Lee, who turned in a 29 on the front Sunday. Hoffman hit 32 of 36 greens and didn’t have a three-putt on the front nine all week. 

Entering the week, he was averaging 34.67 on the starting holes this season, but he improved upon that mark, making at least three straight birdies on the front nine every day; he birdied holes 4-6 on each of the last three days of the tournament.

Hoffman was fifth in driving distance (295.1 yards) and fourth in greens in regulation (77.78 percent) at Mayakoba, a double dip of importance. In the last calendar year, Hoffman is one of five players to win on the PGA Tour while finishing fifth or better in distance and GIR.

Front-nine scoring leaders at the Mayakoba Classic

 Player Score Finish
 Danny Lee 32.25 T-3
 Charley Hoffman 32.50 Won
 Fabian Gomez 33.00 T-23
 Carlos Ortiz 33.25 T-9
 Andres Gonzales 33.50 T-3
 Shawn Stefani 33.50 2
 Ken Duke 33.50 T-9

PGA Tour winners since 2014 who were top five in distance and GIR

 Player Tournament Distance rank GIR rank
 Charley Hoffman 2014 OHL Classic at Mayakoba 5 4
 Rory McIlroy 2014 WGC-Bridgestone 1 T-1
 Seung-Yul Noh 2014 Zurich Classic T-3 T-4
 Bubba Watson 2014 Masters 1 T-5
 Bubba Watson 2014 Northern Trust 1 T-3

Playoff preview?

The OHL Classic trophy wasn’t just a belated birthday present for Hoffman’s daughter, Claire, who turned five on Monday of Mayakoba week. And even the prospect of taking his girls - the Hoffman family also numbers wife Stacy and daughter Katelyn - to Hawaii for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions the week after New Year’s might play second fiddle to one small fact.

Hoffman is one of three Fall Series winners who have made the FedEX Cup playoffs in every year of their existence. (Ryan Moore and Bubba Watson are the others.) All three have likely cemented their ninth consecutive postseason appearance.

Hoffman’s win was worth 500 points, and last year’s final playoff qualifier earned 438 points over the entire season. In addition, all six players who won in the 2013 Fall Series went deep into the postseason, every one advancing to the third event, the BMW Championship. Only Moore (39th in points) and Harris English (32nd) did not advance to the Tour Championship.

2014-15 PGA Tour winners in the Playoffs

 Player 2014-15 win Playoff
2014-15 pts. rank
 Charley Hoffman OHL Classic/Mayakoba 2007-2014 6
 Bubba Watson WGC-HSBC Champions 2007-2014 4
 Nick Taylor* Sanderson Farms None 12
 Ryan Moore CIMB Classic 2007-2014 5
 Robert Streb McGladrey Classic 2014 1
 Ben Martin Shriners/Las Vegas 2014 3
 Sang-Moon Bae Open 2012-2014 2

*As an opposite-field event, the Sanderson Farms Championship allotted only 300 FedEx Points to Taylor.

Classic comeback

Hoffman was the third straight winner at Mayakoba to come from behind in the final round. Hoffman shot 66 Sunday to go from T-3 to first, catching third-round leader Jason Bohn, who shot a final-round 74 to fall to T-7. In the first five years of the tournament, the winner came from behind just one time.

The average Sunday score for the last three OHL Classic winners is 64.66, with John Huh shooting 63 in 2012 and Harris English shooting 65 a year ago.

Final-round scores for the OHL Classic winner

 Year Player Score 54-hole position
 2014 Charley Hoffman 66 T-3
 2013  Harris English 65 T-2
 2012 John Huh 63 T-13
 2011 Harris Wagner 67 1
 2010 Cameron Beckman 67 T-4
 2009 Mark Wilson 68 T-1
 2008 Brian Gay 69 1
 2007 Fred Funk 71 1

Time of their lives

Led by runner-up Shawn Stefani, seven players who finished in the top 10 at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba matched or set personal bests in the tournament. Stefani matched his performance set at the 2014 Quicken Loans Championship, when he lost a playoff to Justin Rose.  

Top-10 finishers with their career best finish at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba

 Player Finish Previous best
 Shawn Stefani 2 2, 2014 Quicken Loans
 Andres Gonzales T-3 T-8, 2013 Wyndham Champ.
 Brice Garnett 6 T-7, 2014 Shell Houston Open
 Tony Finau T-7 T-7, 2014 Shriners/Las Vegas
 Oscar Fraustro T-9 T-43, 2014 Sanderson Farms
 Carlos Ortiz T-9 T-18, 2014 Shriners/Las Vegas
 Blayne Barber T-9 T-9, 2014 Sanderson Farms

Ageless wonder

Kudos go out to 58-year-old Fred Funk, who shot 70 Sunday to finish T-9 at 11-under 273. It was the first top-10 finish on the PGA Tour for Funk since the 2008 Sony Open. Funk is the oldest of five Champions Tour players who have finished in the top 10 of a PGA Tour event since the start of the 2013-14 season. He is the oldest player to finish in the top 10 on Tour since 59-year-old Tom Watson was second at the 2009 British Open. 

Players over age 50 with top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour since the start of the 2013-14 season

 Player Tournament Finish Age
 Fred Funk 2014 OHL Classic at Mayakoba T-9 58
 Bernhard Langer 2014 Masters 8 56
 Jeff Maggert 2014 Travelers Championship T-7 50
 Miguel A. Jimenez 2014 Masters 4 50
Vijay Singh 2013 2 50
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Molinari holds off McIlroy to win BMW PGA

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 3:20 pm

VIRGINIA WATER, England - Rory McIlroy left his victory charge too late at Wentworth as Francesco Molinari delivered a clinic in front-running to win the BMW PGA Championship by two shots with a 4-under 68 on Sunday.

McIlroy, who led by three shots at halfway, entered the final round tied for the lead with Molinari on 13 under par but a Sunday shootout at the European Tour's flagship event never really materialized.

Instead, as McIlroy toiled to a 70 that was propped up by birdies on the par fives at Nos. 17 and 18, Molinari went bogey-free for a second straight day to claim the fifth victory of his career and the biggest since a World Golf Championship in Shanghai in 2010.

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

The Italian only dropped two shots all week and finished on 17-under 271, with McIlroy alone in second place. Alex Noren (67) and Lucas Bjerregaard (65) were tied for third place a stroke further back.

Molinari moved into the automatic qualifying places for the Ryder Cup, which he hasn't played since 2012 when Europe beat the United States in the so-called ''Miracle at Medinah.''

He'd previously had five top-10 finishes in the last six years at Wentworth, including being runner-up to Noren last year.

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.