A Season for the Ages

By Golf Channel NewsroomSeptember 15, 2003, 4:00 pm
Looking back, Dan Forsmans victory in the 84 Lumber Classic of Pennsylvania was a bit premature.
Forsman ended a decade-long winless streak on the PGA Tour by sinking a 20-foot eagle putt on the 72nd hole at the Waynesborough Country Club in Paoli, Pa., for a one-stroke triumph over Robert Allenby and Billy Andrade.
The win was Forsmans fifth on tour, and his first since the 1992 Buick Open.
But it was an anomaly in 2002, when a record 18 players captured their maiden tour title; it would have fit in the fabric of 2003 much more comfortably.
Forsman was 44 at the time of his victory. He was one of only six players in his 40s to win on tour a season ago.
Already, eight different players 40 and over have taken top honors thus far this season. That includes now 43-year-old Kenny Perry, who has won three times; Vijay Singh, who has won once at 39 (Phoenix) and once at 40 (Byron Nelson) this year; 49-year-old Peter Jacobsen (Hartford); and 50-year-old Craig Stadler (B.C. Open).
Like Forsman a year ago, these 40-somethings ' and senior Stadler ' have made long awaited returns to the winners circle.
Fred Couples won the Shell Houston Open for his first win since 98. Perry hadnt won since 95, likewise for Jacobsen and Bob Tway, who won the Bell Canadian. Stadlers drought had extended to 96, while Kirk Triplett, who won in Reno, had been winless for three years.
There are several players in this weeks field that would love to continue this seasonal trend.
Mark OMeara, 46, hasnt won since the 1998 British Open; Mark Brooks, 42, since the 1996 PGA Championship.
Forty-four-year-old Jay Don Blakes last win came in the 1991 Shearson Lehman Brothers Open. Neal Lancaster, 41, hasnt held a trophy since the 94 Byron Nelson. David Frost, 44, hasnt had that thrill since the 97 Colonial.
Scott Simpson will turn 48 Wednesday. His last title was the 98 Buick Invitational. Steve Pate, 42, also hasnt won in the last five years (1998 CVS Charity).
And dont overlook Mark Calcavecchia (43), J.L. Lewis (43), Steve Lowery (42), Hal Sutton (45), and Duffy Waldorf (41), all of whom have gone at least two seasons without a victory.
Helping their individual causes is the fact that only two (Chris DiMarco and Robert Allenby) of the top 20 players from the Official World Golf Ranking are in attendance.
For the third time in the events short four-year history, players will have to get accustomed to a new venue.
Waynesborough was the host in 2000 ' when DiMarco won ' and last year. Allenby won the 2001 edition at Laurel Valley Country Club in Ligonier, Pa.
This years host site is the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa in Farmington. The Mystic Rock Golf Course will play to a par 72 at 7,329 yards.
There are only seven full-field events remaining on the 2003 PGA Tour calendar. This week's purse is $4 million, with $720,000 going to the winner ' whatever his age may be.
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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.

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    Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

    A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

    The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

    There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.

    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

    But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

    As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

    This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

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    Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

    There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

    Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

    Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.

    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

    Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

    The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

    Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.

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    Daly (knee) replaced by Bradley in Open field

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 12:13 pm

    Former champion John Daly has withdrawn from The Open because of a right knee injury and will be replaced in the field at Carnoustie by another major winner, Keegan Bradley.

    Daly, 52, defeated Costantino Rocca in a memorable playoff to win the claret jug at St. Andrews in 1995. His lingering knee pain led him to request a cart during last month's U.S. Senior Open, and when that request was denied he subsequently withdrew from the tournament.

    Daly then received treatment on the knee and played in a PGA Tour event last week at The Greenbrier without the use of a cart, missing the cut with rounds of 77-67. But on the eve of the season's third major, he posted to Twitter that his pain remains "unbearable" and that a second request for a cart was turned down:

    This will be just the second time since 2000 that Daly has missed The Open, having also sat out the 2013 event at Muirfield. He last made the cut in 2012, when he tied for 81st at Royal Lytham. He could still have a few more chances to improve upon that record, given that past Open champions remain fully exempt until age 60.

    Taking his place will be Bradley, who was first alternate based on his world ranking. Bradley missed the event last year but recorded three top-20 finishes in five appearances from 2012-16, including a T-18 finish two years ago at Royal Troon.

    The next three alternates, in order, are Spain's Adrian Otaegui and Americans Aaron Wise and J.B. Holmes.