Its Harrington By a Hair

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 6, 2002, 4:00 pm
Four different days, three different courses and 72 holes was not enough to separate Padraig Harrington (69) and Eduardo Romero (69) at the 2002 Dunhill Links Championship.
So into a playoff they went and on the second extra hole separation was finally made as Harrington ran home a birdie putt and then watched in disbelief as Romero missed from just three feet for his birdie.
Harrington nevertheless welcomed the win as he got his first victory in a playoff after having a career 0-3 record.
'I felt sorry for Eduardo missing there on 18 and here (No. 2), but I wanted it badly,' said Harrington, who trounced Mark Calcavecchia in their singles match last week at The Belfry. 'I thought Eduardo played great too. It's a shame that somebody had to lose in the playoff. I've been there before.'
More from Harrington on his win.
It was Harrington's first win of the season and vaulted him into contention for the top spot on the European Order of Merit (money list). The $808,000 first-place check puts him within striking distance of Retief Goosen and Ernie Els.
Harrington almost didn't get into the playoff, save for a clutch putt on the event's last hole.
Needing birdie to match Romero's score of 19-under, the Irishman hit a wedge to 15 feet and then saw Romero do him one better as Romero his wedge to about six feet.
Fittingly, the duo had swapped the lead througout the tournament and came into the final round tied. Harrington ran home the putt for birdie on 18, and waited for Romero, who had a chance to end it in regulation.
A little shell-shocked after watching Harrington's ball drop into the cup, Romero proceeded to pull his six-footer for the title and thus set up the playoff.
After both had routine pars on the first extra hole, they each found the fairway on the second playoff hole. Harrington hit first and played a beautiful wedge to 16 feet.
Romero again topped Harrington as his wedge nestled up to about three feet from the cup.
And just like the 18th in regulation, Harrington was up to the task and drilled what turned out to be the winning putt.
Romero, who had played brilliantly all week, couldn't convert the small tester to extend the match. It would have been his second win of the season.
'I think that it was more my fault,' said the 48-year-old Romero, who lost out on his bid to become the oldest winner in European Tour history. 'I make mistakes and I don't putt too good at the last two holes. Especially on the last one. I putted from three feet for birdie.
'But I'm very happy. My game is very good. Very solid. I concentrate and my putting is working. I'm very happy.'
Colin Montgomerie tried to steal the show with an amazing 9-under-par 63 that included a string of birdies on the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th holes. A bogey at the last hole left him in a tie for third with Vijay Singh and 1988 Masters' champion Sandy Lyle.
Final scores from the Dunhill Links Championship
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Watch: Rory finds trouble, and more trouble, and more ...

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 4:33 pm

Rory McIlroy was in a must-win situation against Brian Harman in order to have a chance to advance to the one-and-done portion of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

And, as you can see, McIlroy did not get off to an ideal start on Friday.

McIlroy lost the third, fifth and ninth holes at Austin Country Club. Harman led, 3 up, at the turn.

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Watch: Stefani makes hole-in-one, has no clue

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 3:18 pm

Shawn Stefani made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th in the second round of the Corales Puntacana Resorts and Club Championship.

However, he never saw it go in.

Stefani knew he hit a great shot, and this isn't shown in the video below, but he just questioned everyone around him if they saw the ball go into the hole.

A Golf Channel cameraman finally gave him the news and Stefani responded with an enthusiastic thumbs up.

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Trio lead Kia Classic; Davies shoots 82

By Associated PressMarch 23, 2018, 3:01 am

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Laura Davies had a nightmare round days after contending for a title at age 54, and Caroline Hedwall, Jackie Stoelting and Hee Young Park topped the Kia Classic leaderboard.

Davies shot a 10-over 82 on Thursday at rainy Aviara Golf Club - four days after tying for second behind Inbee Park in the Founders Cup, and five days after shooting a 9-under 63 in the Phoenix event.

Fighting Achilles tendon and calf problems in her left leg, Davies opened double bogey-bogey-par-bogey. She bogeyed Nos. 9, 10 and 12, had another double on 15 and bogeyed 16. The 82 was the World Golf Hall of Famer's highest score on tour since also shooting 82 in the 2013 Marathon Classic. On Monday, she jumped 208 spots to No. 155 in the world.

Hedwall, Stoelting and Park shot 66 in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills. Ariya Jutanugarn, also coming off a second-place tie in Phoenix, was a stroke back with 2015 champion Cristie Kerr, In-Kyung Kim and Nicole Broch Larsen.

Hedwall closed her bogey-free round with birdies on the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth. The Swede played her final 10 holes in 6 under. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways because of the damp conditions.

''I hit it really well and started making a couple putts in my back nine,'' Hedwall said. ''I'm really happy with how I'm playing and looking forward to the rest of the days.''

Stoelting finished with a birdie on the par-4 18th. She had seven birdies and a bogey.

''I hit a lot of fairways,'' Stoelting said. ''I don't necessarily hit if far, but keeping it in the fairway is super key this week. The rough is much thicker this year than last year.''

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Hee Young Park birdied the final three holes, finishing on No. 9.

''The greens are really soft,'' Park said. ''So, easier on the second shot.''

The 40-year-old Kerr had a bogey-free round.

''I like this golf course,'' Kerr said. ''I think it's a tough golf course and you can't fall asleep on any shot. I mean, it's just a really great course. The layout. The rough is high. You got to pay attention. I think that's maybe why I play a little better here than some other places.''

Jutanugarn closed with a 5-under 31 on the front nine.

''It's rain today and a little bit windy, but my irons help me a lot,'' Jutanugarn said. ''Just start to make some putts. ... It's pretty tough for me. I always feel like the course here is really hard because the greens really bumpy, and you're not going to hit far here.''

Lydia Ko and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu topped the group at 68.

Ko also played her final nine in 31. She missed the cut last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix.

''I holed some really good putts on my back nine,'' Ko said. ''I didn't hit the ball fantastic, but just being able to hole some good birdie putts was key.''

She won the 2016 event at Aviara.

''This is a pretty tough golf course,'' Ko said. ''Putting is a huge key around this course where if you do miss a green, making those clutch par putts and then making those birdie opportunities that you get.''

Jennifer Song and Jeong Eun Lee also shot 68. Brooke Henderson had a 69, and Lexi Thompson a 70.

Inbee Park was at 71 with Singapore champion Michelle Wie and 2014 Kia winner Anna Nordqvist. Top-ranked Shanshan Feng had a 72, playing alongside Park. Defending champion Mirim Lee shot 74.

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With old clubs returned, Kim (and new clubs) starts strong at Kia

By Randall MellMarch 23, 2018, 1:53 am

Almost two months after her golf clubs went missing, the same clubs she used to win last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, In-Kyung Kim was happily reunited with them this week.

She fetched them and her golf bag two days ago at the Carlsbad, Calif., police department.

A man bought them as a used set from a sporting goods store in the area, with Kim’s LPGA I.D. still in the golf bag.

Notably, Kim celebrated with a return to the leaderboard Thursday in the first round of the Kia Classic.

Kim opened with a 5-under-par 67, though she didn’t use her newly rediscovered clubs. She stayed with the replacement set that she put together after her clubs went missing. Her Women’s British Open clubs never showed up after she got off a plane in Southern California upon her return home from the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.

“It was really difficult at first,” Kim said of getting used to her new set of clubs. “I really worked hard, like worked a lot, went to the factory like a dozen times.”

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Kim said she made several visits to the factory folks, trying to get the loft and lies of her new clubs just the way she wanted, close to the configuration that helped her win the Women’s British Open.

“They were like, `I.K., are you ever happy?’” Kim said.

Actually, only five of Kim’s “lost” clubs turned up with her golf bag at that sporting goods store. Still, Kim was happy to get three wedges, two hybrids and her golf bag back.

“It’s kind of good to have a conclusion,” Kim said.

Kim can thank a “What’s in the bag?” segment with Ladies European Tour TV analyst Alison Whitaker for leading to the retrieval of her clubs. Kim explained to Whitaker how her clubs went missing during the telecast of the HSBC Women’s World Championship three weeks ago.

A golf fan in the San Diego area saw Golf Channel’s telecast of that segment.

“One of his friends bought the tour bag,” Kim said. “The other friend knew about my story, and he was like, `No, dude, that's not for selling. It's stolen.’”

Kim was delighted to meet the men who returned her clubs when she picked them up at the Carlsbad Police Department.

“Just good for me,” Kim said.