Garcia Singh Set for Westchester Duel

By Golf Channel NewsroomJune 20, 2005, 4:00 pm
Fresh off the USGA's staging of the U.S. Open, the PGA Tour reconvenes at fabled Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y., for the newly named Barclays Classic.
 
Formerly the Buick Classic, the event has been played on a rotating basis around the U.S. Open since 1994. In the odd-numbered years it is contested after the Open; before it in even-numbered years.
 
Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh has won twice at Westchester although his last victory came all the way back in 1995.
Due to it's scheduling after this year's Open, only four of the world's top-10 players are set to tee it up for the $5,750,000 purse.
 
Headlining the field is defending champion Sergio Garcia and world No. 2 Vijay Singh. Both players are two-time winners of this event, with Garcia's titles coming last year and back in 2001. Garcia's win last year came in a three-man playoff with Padraig Harrington and Rory Sabbatini.
 
Singh, whose win in 1993 was his first on the PGA Tour, also had to go extra holes in both of his wins.
 
In fact, a playoff in this event is becoming common place, as in seven out of the last 12 years the tournament has gone into an extra session, including the last two.
 
Two players hoping to grab some headlines this week are newly turned professionals Ryan Moore and his former college rival Spencer Levin. Moore, who is the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, made the cut at last week's Open and accepted a sponsors exemption into this his first event as a pro. Levin meanwhile, turned pro just days prior to the U.S. Open but failed to make the cut.
 
Most notably absent from the 2005 edition of the tournament is world No. 3 Ernie Els, who has held a spot in the field in 10 of the last 11 years and is the only back-to-back winner in the events illustrious history.
 
Played at Westchester Country Club since its inception in 1967, other two-time winners of the tournament include Jack Nicklaus, who won the inaugural event in 1967, Seve Ballesteros (83 and 88), Garcia and Singh.
 
Five for the Title
 
Vijay Singh
Despite a decent outing at Pinehurst where he finished in a tie for sixth, the golf-aholic will be back in the saddle looking for a chance to make another run at the No. 1 ranking held by Tiger Woods as well as pad his lead on the tour's money list. Though he's 10 years removed from his last victory here, Singh's overall game since that last win in 1995 is vastly improved. Currently ranked second on the PGA Tour's all-around ranking, Singh leads the tour in greens hit in regulation and total birdies.
 
Sergio Garcia
A victory at the Booz Allen just prior to the U.S. Open raised the Spaniards PGA Tour win total to six and he has a sensational record at Westchester to boot. In his last five trips to the Barclays Classic, Garcia has finished third, first, 12th, fourth and first again. Another victory here would make him the first three-time winner of the event.
 
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia looks to become the first three-time winner at Westchester.
Kenny Perry
Although Perry missed the cut here in three of the first five times he played in the event, he had a solid tie for ninth last year. Already with wins at Bay Hill and the Bank of America Colonial, Perry leads the tour in ball striking and is fifth on the money list.
 
Jim Furyk
After battling through a wrist injury much of last year, Furyk is definitely back on his game this year with six top-10s to his name including a pair of runner-up finishes at the MCI Heritage and the Wachovia Championship. Though never visiting the winner's circle here at Westchester, Furyk has placed inside the top-10 three times in his last seven starts, including a playoff loss back in 1998.
 
Chris DiMarco
A lackluster record in this event, the world's seventh ranked player stayed away for five years after missing the cut in his first four attempts. Last year though, the former University of Florida player found his groove and placed 9th in this event. A short hitter by tour standards, DiMarco will get a shot at one of the shortest courses they'll play all year at Westchester, which plays to just 6,751 yards.
 
Playing Out the Front Nine
 
Four more players to keep an eye on
 
*Jonathan Kaye, who won his first-ever PGA Tour title here in 2003. Kaye didn't fare well though in his title defense last year, finishing second to last of those who made the cut. He is, however, ranked 36th on the tour's money list.
 
*Justin Leonard, who is one of five players with multiple wins thus far in 2005. Like DiMarco, Leonard is another short hitter whose game shapes up well for Westchester. His recent win bodes well for the Texan, who has moved up to 19th in the world rankings.
 
*Fred Couples, who is coming off a 15th place finish at the U.S. Open. Couples, a fan favorite wherever he goes, has had the crowds cheering once again, especially with his strong performance at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago, where he finished second to Bart Bryant.
 
*Ryan Moore, who had one of the most successful seasons in amateur golf history last year. In his first event as a professional, Moore will have to try and live up to the hype he created as an amateur while winning the U.S. Amateur, NCAA, U.S. Amateur Public Links and Western Amateur last year.

Related links:
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    Davies a fitting winner of inaugural USGA championship

    By Randall MellJuly 15, 2018, 11:26 pm

    Laura Davies confessed she did not sleep well on a five-shot lead Saturday night at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

    It’s all you needed to know about what this inaugural event meant to the women who were part of the history being made at Chicago Golf Club.

    The week was more than a parade of memories the game’s greats created playing in the USGA’s long-awaited showcase for women ages 50 and beyond.

    The week was more than nostalgic. 

    It was a chance to make another meaningful mark on the game.

    In the end, Davies relished seeing the mark she made in her runaway, 10-shot victory. She could see it in the familiar etchings on the trophy she hoisted.

    “I get my name on it first,” Davies said. “This championship will be played for many years, and there will only be one first winner. Obviously, quite a proud moment for me to win that.”

    Really, all 120 players in the field made their marks at Chicago Golf Club. They were all pioneers of sorts this past week.

    “It was very emotional seeing the USGA signs, because I've had such a long history, since my teens, playing in USGA championships,” said Amy Alcott, whose Hall of Fame career included the 1980 U.S. Women’s Open title. “I thought the week just came off beautifully. The USGA did a great job. It was just so classy how everything was done, this inaugural event, and how was it presented.”

    Davies was thankful for what the USGA added to the women’s game, and she wasn’t alone. Gratefulness was the theme of the week.


    Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open


    The men have been competing in the U.S. Senior Open since 1980, and now the women have their equal opportunity to do the same.

    “It was just great to be a part of the first,” three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner Hollis Stacy said. “The USGA did a great job of having it at such a great golf course. It's just been very memorable.”

    Trish Johnson, who is English, like Davies, finished third, 12 shots back, but she left with a heart overflowing.

    “Magnificent,” said Johnson, a three-time LPGA and 19-time LET winner. “Honestly, it's one of the best, most enjoyable weeks I've ever played in in any tournament anywhere.”

    She played in the final group with Davies and runner-up Juli Inkster.

    “Even this morning, just waiting to come out here, I thought, `God, not often do I actually think how lucky I am to do what I do,’” Johnson said.

    At 54, Davies still plays the LPGA and LET regularly. She has now won 85 titles around the world, 20 of them LPGA titles, four of them majors, 45 of them LET titles.

    With every swing this past week, she peeled back the years, turned back the clock, made fans and peers remember what she means to the women’s game.

    This wasn’t the first time Davies made her mark in a USGA event. When she won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1987, she became just the second player from Europe to win the title, the first in 20 years. She opened a new door for internationals. The following year, Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann won the title.

    “A lot of young Europeans and Asians decided that it wasn't just an American sport,” Davies said. “At that stage, it had been dominated, wholeheartedly, by all the names we all love, Lopez, Bradley, Daniel, Sheehan.”

    Davies gave the rest of the world her name to love, her path to follow.

    “It certainly made a lot of foreign girls think that they could take the Americans on,” Davies said.

    In golf, it’s long been held that you can judge the stature of an event by the names on the trophy. Davies helps gives the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open the monumental start it deserved.

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    Suwannapura beats Lincicome in playoff for first win

    By Associated PressJuly 15, 2018, 10:49 pm

    SYLVANIA, Ohio - Thidapa Suwannapura won her first LPGA event on Sunday, closing with a 6-under 65 and birdieing the first playoff hole to defeat Brittany Lincicome at the Marathon Classic.

    The 25-year-old Thai player is the sixth first-time winner on tour this year. Her previous best finish in 120 starts was seventh at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.

    Suwannapura picked up three strokes over her final two holes, making eagle on the par-5 17th and closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th at Highland Meadows to finish at 14-under 270.

    In the playoff, Suwannapura converted a short birdie putt after Lincicome hit her second shot into a water hazard and scrambled for par.

    Lincicome shot 67. She had a chance to win in regulation, but her birdie putt from about 10 feet did a nearly 360-degree turn around the edge of the cup and stayed out. Next up for the big-hitting Lincicome: a start against the men at the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship.

    Third-round leader Brooke Henderson led by two shots after six holes, but struggled the rest of the way. Back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes dropped her out of the lead. The 20-year-old Canadian finished with a 2-under 69, one shot out of the playoff.

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    Kim cruises to first win, final Open invite at Deere

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 9:38 pm

    Following the best week of his professional career, Michael Kim is both a winner on the PGA Tour and the 156th and final player to earn a tee time next week at The Open.

    Kim entered the final round of the John Deere Classic with a five-shot lead, and the former Cal standout removed any lingering doubt about the tournament's outcome with birdies on each of his first three holes. He cruised from there, shooting a bogey-free 66 to finish the week at 27 under and win by eight shots over Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon.

    It equals the tournament scoring record and ties for the largest margin of victory on Tour this season, matching Dustin Johnson's eight-shot romp at Kapalua in January and Molinari's margin two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National.

    "Just super thankful," Kim said. "It's been a tough first half of the year. But to be able to finish it out in style like this means a lot."

    Kim, 25, received the Haskins Award as the nation's top collegiate player back in 2013, but his ascent to the professional ranks has been slow. He had only one top-10 finish in 83 starts on Tour entering the week, tying for third at the Safeway Open in October 2016, and had missed the cut each of the last three weeks.

    But the pieces all came together at TPC Deere Run, where Kim opened with 63 and held a three-shot lead after 36 holes. His advantage was trimmed to a single shot during a rain-delayed third round, but Kim returned to the course late Saturday and closed with four straight birdies on Nos. 15-18 to build a five-shot cushion and inch closer to his maiden victory.

    As the top finisher among the top five not otherwise exempt, Kim earned the final spot at Carnoustie as part of the Open Qualifying Series. It will be his first major championship appearance since earning low amateur honors with a T-17 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, and he is also now exempt for the PGA Championship and next year's Masters.

    The last player to earn the final Open spot at the Deere and make the cut the following week was Brian Harman, who captured his first career win at TPC Deere Run in 2014 and went on to tie for 26th at Royal Liverpool.

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    Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

    Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

    Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

    Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.


    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


    "I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

    Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

    Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.