Gilder Last Man Standing in Windy Oklahoma
He was staying nearby with Doug Tewell, about to depart for a tournament in San Antonio. They thought they would come out to Gaillardia and play a few holes before they left.
But they didnt. It was way too windy, Gilder said. We dont play in that stuff. That might hurt you.
Sunday, they were forced to play in that stuff. Just like that day, the winds were howling ' 20 miles per hour steadily, gusts up to 35 m.p.h. And unlike that day, he played golf. He shot a 1-over 73, but it was good enough to give him the win in the Senior Tour Championship.
Gilder stepped over Bruce Lietzke en route to the victory. Lietzke had entered the fourth round ahead by one stroke, but Sunday was a day definitely not suited for his high shot and his broomstick putter.
The winds were unmerciful in scattering his shots to the four corners. Lietzke bobbed repeatedly as he tried to stand erect over the long putter, and finished with a 4-over 76. That was two behind Gilder and one behind Tewell, who shot a 69 and snuck in with second place.
I really had to play each shot one at a time, said Gilder. It was just that difficult. You really had to concentrate on every shot. You loose one of them and who knows where it might roll?
Gilder and Lietzke took turns owning the lead throughout the front nine, but the tournament swung Gilders way with suddenness at No. 11, where he birdied at the same time as Lietzke was making bogey. The next hole, No. 12, it happened again, Gilder notching another birdie while Lietzke bogeyed.
That opened a four-shot lead for Gilder, and the Oregon native hung together in the final holes for the victory.
I think the round pretty well got away from me in two categories, Lietzke said. I drove the ball poorly ' I think I missed five or six fairways today and I havent done that all week. I was playing out of the rough today and that really made it double-tough, hitting flyers out of the rough with this wind.
And my chipping was not good today. My stats for the last four days say Ive hit 94 percent of the greens, and I just havent had to hit many chips. My chip shots that were pretty much routine ' I didnt get any of them up-and-down.
And there was the matter of the putting.
A couple of times, I would have whiffed the ball if I would have continued the stroke. I was moving so much, he said. I was waiting for a little lull for about 10 seconds, but after that, you have to go ahead and pull the trigger.
The four-shot swing at Nos. 11 and 12 were a boon to Gilder and near-fatal to Lietzke.
I put it in the rough on 11 and couldnt put it on the green, said Lietzke. Then I hit a poor chip and bogeyed the hole. Gilder was in a fairway bunker and hit a marvelous shot up to 12 feet and made the birdie.
Twelve is a real hard left-to-right hole and I didnt want to lose the ball right. I hit what I thought was a great drive that just stayed straight and ended up in the left rough. I misjudged the flyer lie on my second shot and couldnt reach the green. He hit a beautiful shot (8-iron from 144 yards to four feet) in there and made the putt again.
That was really tough. I didnt necessarily lose the tournament right there, but it certainly put me way behind.
After those events, Gilder surely didnt think it was over. But he appreciated what it meant, gaining four shots of those two holes.
Im not going to say it took the wind out of anybodys sails, but it would have me, Gilder said. But to his credit, he hung right in there and had an opportunity on the last hole.
That came at 18 with Lietzke having one final chance, standing two shots behind. It was a par-5 and Lietzke had to eagle it. He had an opportunity with the ball 20 feet from the hole after two shots.
But he missed the first putt, the ball curling four feet off to the side, and then proceeded to miss the second putt to wind up at 9-under and fall behind Tewell.
In hindsight, Tewell - Gilders host for the week - lost the tournament in the second round Friday, a calm day when Lietzke shot a 63 and most of the field shot their best scores of the week. Tewell shot a 70, good by journeyman standards but not when compared to the tournament leaders.
I lost the tournament in that dead calm day on Friday, Tewell agreed.
Allen Doyle won the money title and the Charles Schwab Cup as the outstanding Senior golfer of 2001, despite shooting 73-74-72-76-219. He donated his entire prize of a $1 million in tax-deferred annuities to a host of charities.
As soon as I saw all those holes cut on the left side, I was a dead duck, said Doyle. It was set up for someone who plays a fade, and I am a low draw player.
Full-field scores from the Senior Tour Championship
McIlroy 'committed to everything ... ran out of holes'
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy summed it up: “I don’t really feel like it’s a defeat. I feel like it’s a good week.”
McIlroy, in search of his fifth major, tied for the lead at The Open late on Sunday at Carnoustie when he made eagle on the par-5 14th hole. An hour later, he had made five consecutive pars to close out a 1-under 70 and tie for second place with Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.
That group ended two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. McIlroy thought it was realistic to squeeze one more shot out of his round, but he never though it was possible to squeeze out two.
“I committed to everything,” he said. “I hit the shots when I needed to. I made good swings on 17 and on 18. I just ran out of holes.”
McIlroy hasn’t played poorly this year, but this hasn't been a year that would rank as a total success. He took the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and collected a second-place finish at the BMW PGA Championship. He had a legitimate chance to win the Masters before a terrible Sunday round, and then missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month at Shinnecock Hills.
Sunday at Carnoustie, McIlroy bogeyed two of his first five holes and quickly became an afterthought. When others faltered, McIlroy birdies Nos. 9 and 11, then eagled 14 to vault back into the picture.
“I’m happy with how I played,” he said. “I didn’t get off to a great start, but I hung in there, and I battled back.
“So I’ll look back at this week and be very encouraged about what I’ve done and the golf that I played. I feel like that will stand me in good stead for what’s coming up.”
McIlroy is scheduled to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks, followed by the PGA Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs.
Edoardo, other pros congratulate Francesco on Twitter
Francesco Molinari played a bogey-free weekend at Carnoustie to claim Italy's first claret jug.
His rock-solid performance in the final round earned him his share of social media plaudits.
Here's a collection of Twitter hat-tips, and we start off with Frankie's brother, Dodo.
No bogeys on the weekend!!— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) July 22, 2018
Is it a man or a machine???
No matter what happens
Amazing performance @F_Molinari
What a day— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) July 22, 2018
What a week
What a year
What a round by @F_Molinari. Played with him Thursday-Friday, not surprised! Guy is the hottest player on the planet currently. Bogey free out there today is a championship round— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) July 22, 2018
Viva Italia...— Gary Player (@garyplayer) July 22, 2018
How good has @F_Molinari been!!! Bogey free for the last 37 holes!— Cheyenne Woods (@Cheyenne_Woods) July 22, 2018
Wow just awesome So happy for @F_Molinari . What a fantastic player, a great person and super role model for aspiring golfers. What an achievement #championgolferoftheyear@TheOpen . So pleased for you and all the team. Enjoy the celebrations cos you deserve it— Ross Fisher (@RossFisher) July 22, 2018
Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.
Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.
Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.
“I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.
“Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”
Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.
Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger
Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.
His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.
We compiled some of their missives below:
Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.
Starting to wonder how many Tiggy is going to win by here........... #isheback— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 22, 2018
Tiger is leading the open pic.twitter.com/MbGnJIt1Jj— Tyrrell Hatton (@TyrrellHatton) July 22, 2018
That FW bunker shot by Tiger tho... pic.twitter.com/Fi3GY6AegO— Scott Langley (@Scott_Langley) July 22, 2018
Tiger back doing Tiger stuff.......— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 22, 2018
I love you https://t.co/JovVz2clm2— Braden Thornberry (@tberrygolf) July 22, 2018
Omg lesgo @TigerWoods— Willy Wilcox (@willwilcoxgolf) July 22, 2018
Right now, Tiger is like everyone’s ex who we’ve given way too many 2nd chances to, and he has the opportunity to rip your heart right out of your chest but we’re all ok with it because we tend to only remember the good times— max homa (@maxhoma23) July 22, 2018