McIlroy wins Tour Championship, FedEx Cup titles

By Will GraySeptember 25, 2016, 10:54 pm

The season's final event was certainly not short on drama. Here's how things ended up at the Tour Championship, where Rory McIlroy rallied to win the tournament (and the FedEx Cup) in a playoff:

Leaderboard: Rory McIlroy (-12, won on fourth playoff hole), Ryan Moore (-12), Kevin Chappell (-12), Paul Casey (-9)

What it means: McIlroy seemed out of the mix before an improbable hole-out eagle on No. 16 was followed by a birdie on No. 18. That got him into a playoff with Moore and Chappell, and after Chappell exited on the first extra hole the remaining two combatants went toe-to-toe for a few more rounds. An errant approach to the fourth extra hole by Moore opened the door for McIlroy, who rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt to win both the tournament and FedEx Cup title.

Round of the day: McIlroy got off to a relatively slow start, but closed with a flourish to post a 6-under 64. Birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 were followed by four straight pars before McIlroy jarred his approach on No. 16 for eagle. He hit a dramatic rescue shot from the trees on the 72nd hole to set up a closing birdie, then stuffed his approach on the first extra hole before ultimately outlasting Moore to clinch the season-long title.

Best of the rest: Moore capped an impressive postseason run with a 64 in the final round that left him just short of the tournament title but might have been enough to snag the final Ryder Cup spot. Moore rolled in putt after putt, including a lengthy birdie on No. 16 and another putt of similar length on the same hole to keep his hopes alive during the playoff. It was a remarkable effort that quickly lifted him into contention for Davis Love III's final pick.

Biggest disappointment: On a day filled with red numbers, Johnson wasn't able to get anything going. Two birdies were countered by three bogeys and a double bogey, as Johnson shot a 3-over 73 to slip from the lead into a tie for sixth. It was a tough way to finish a stellar season, and when McIlroy won the playoff it meant that the FedEx Cup title Johnson appeared to have coming his way instead went to the Ulsterman.

Shot of the day: McIlroy watched Moore roll in a lengthy par putt on the fourth extra hole to keep things interesting, then stepped up and calmly rolled in an $11.5 million birdie putt of his own that was never in doubt.

Quote of the day: "I just wanted to go out here and play the way I've been playing." - McIlroy

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Lewis says she's expecting first child in November

By Randall MellApril 27, 2018, 2:18 am

Stacy Lewis is pregnant.

The 12-time LPGA winner confirmed after Thursday’s first round of the Mediheal Championship that she and her husband, University of Houston women’s golf coach Gerrod Chadwell, are expecting their first child on Nov. 3.

Lewis learned she was pregnant after returning home to Houston in late February following her withdrawal from the HSBC Women’s World Championship with a strained oblique muscle.

“We're obviously really excited,” Lewis said. “It wasn't nice I was hurt, but it was nice that I was home when I found out with [Gerrod]. We're just really excited to start a family.”

Lewis is the third big-name LPGA player preparing this year to become a mother for the first time. Suzann Pettersen announced last month that she’s pregnant, due in the fall. Gerina Piller is due any day.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship

Piller’s husband, PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, withdrew from the Zurich Classic on Thursday to be with her. Piller and Lewis have been U.S. Solheim Cup partners the last two times the event has been played.

“It's going to be fun raising kids together,” Lewis said. “Hopefully, they're best friends and they hang out. But just excited about the next few months and what it's going to bring.”

Lewis, a former Rolex world No. 1 and two-time major championship winner, plans to play through the middle of July, with the Marathon Classic her last event of the year. She will be looking to return for the start of the 2019 season. The LPGA’s maternity leave policy allows her to come back next year with her status intact.

“This year, the golf might not be great, but I've got better things coming in my life than a golf score.” Lewis said. “I plan on coming back and traveling on the road with the baby, and we'll figure it out as we go.”

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Coach scores in NFL Draft and on golf course

By Grill Room TeamApril 27, 2018, 1:47 am

To say that Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio had a good day Thursday would be an understatement. Not only did his team snag one of the top defensive players in the NFL Draft - Georgia outside linebacker Roquan Smith, who the Bears took with the eighth pick of the first round - but earlier in the day Fangio, 59, made a hole-in-one, sinking a 9-iron shot from 125 yards at The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis.

Perhaps the ace isn't so surprising, though. In late May 2017, Fangio made another hole-in-one, according to a tweet from the Bears. The only information supplied on that one was the distance - 116 yards.

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Gooch chooses 'life over a good lie' with gators nearby

By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2018, 11:31 pm

AVONDALE, La. – A fairway bunker wasn’t Talor Gooch’s only hazard on the 18th hole at TPC Louisiana.

Gooch’s ball came to rest Thursday within a few feet of three gators, leading to a lengthy delay as he sorted out his options.

Chesson Hadley used a rake to nudge two of the gators on the tail, sending them back into the pond surrounding the green. But the third gator wouldn’t budge.

“It woke him up from a nap,” Gooch said, “and he was hissing away and wasn’t happy.”

The other two gators remained in the water, their eyes fixed on the group.

Full-field scores from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos

“I’m sure we would have been fine, but any little movement by them and no chance I would have made solid contact,” he said.

A rules official granted Gooch free relief, away from the gator, but he still had to drop in the bunker. The ball plugged.

“I chose life over a good lie in that situation,” he said.

He splashed out short of the green, nearly holed out his pitch shot and made par to cap off an eventful 6-under 66 with partner Andrew Landry.

“It was my first gator par,” he said. “I’ll take it.”

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Koepka's game 'where it should be' even after injury

By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2018, 11:18 pm

AVONDALE, La. – Brooks Koepka didn’t look rusty Thursday while making six birdies in the first round of the Zurich Classic.

Making his first start in four months because of a torn ligament in his left wrist, Koepka and partner Marc Turnesa shot a 5-under 67 in fourballs at TPC Louisiana.

“It felt good,” Koepka said afterward. “It was just nice to be out here. I played pretty solid.”

Full-field scores from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos

The reigning U.S. Open champion felt soreness in his wrist the week after he won the Dunlop Phoenix in the fall. He finished last at the Hero World Challenge in December and then the following month at the Tournament of Champions before shutting it down.

He only began practicing last week and decided to commit to the Zurich Classic after three solid days at Medalist. He decided to partner with one of his friends in South Florida, Marc Turnesa, a former PGA Tour winner who now works in real estate.

Koepka hasn’t lost any distance because of the injury – he nearly drove the green on the 355-yard 16th hole. He’s planning to play the next two weeks, at the Wells Fargo Championship and The Players.

“I feel like I’m playing good enough to be right where I should be in April,” he said. “I feel good, man. There’s nothing really wrong with my game right now.”