Stars Come Out for Tour Championship

By Golf Channel NewsroomFebruary 21, 2005, 5:00 pm
Sunshine TourJOHANNESBURG -- The top 70 eligible players on the 2004/05 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit gather at the Country Club Johannesburg this week for the season-ending Vodacom Tour Championship.
All but two of this season's winners having confirmed their entries, the only absentees being SAA Open champion Tim Clark and David Frost, winner of the Open Championship International Final Qualifier. Both players are fulfilling their commitments on the PGA Tour.
Charl Schwartzel will take an unassailable lead on the Order of Merit into the event, following a superb season in which he won his maiden title at the dunhill championship and finished second at both the SAA Open and the Telkom PGA Championship.
With Schwartzel out of reach, the main focus will be on the battle for second and third place, currently occupied by England's Neil Cheetham and Warren Abery respectively.
The top three players on the Final Order of Merit at the conclusion of the Tour Championship will all be invited to the $7 million World Golf Championships-American Express Invitational in San Francisco.
But players out of range of the top three have their own incentives, other than the chance of winning the Sunshine Tour's biggest first prize cheque aside from the two events co-sanctioned by the European Tour.
The winner of the Tour Championship wins automatic entry to another WGC event, the NEC Invitational at Firestone Country Club and the top 12 on the final Order of Merit are all invited to the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.
Schwartzel, of course, is guaranteed all of these privileges already, and is due another which he will enjoy all on his own - a place at the Open Championship at St. Andrews.
Competition is sure to be as intense amongst those players lower down on the Order of Merit, with finishers inside the top 50 earning full exemption on the Tour for the 2005/06 season.
One of those players with designs of entering the top 50 this week is Bradley Davison, who after a consistent season occupies 57th position on the Order of Merit.
Davison is seeking to reclaim the exempt status he lost when he finished in 51st spot on the 2002/03 Final Order of Merit.
'To be exempt on Tour opens so many doors and I'm sure that everyone from 51-70 will have it in the back of their mind this week,' said Davison.
'The reintroduction of Tour School is going to make it easier to get into events if you're not in the top 50 this year, but it is so much better knowing you're in every event.'
'Obviously, everyone will want to win this week but there are different goals for different guys and I'm sure it's going to be a little bit more tense than usual.'
Both the Pro-Am, which takes place on Wednesday, and the tournament itself beginning a day later will be played at the Woodmead Course at Country Club Johannesburg.
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Romo turns in even in PGA Tour debut

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 3:00 pm

After stumbling out of the gates, Tony Romo has found his footing in his PGA Tour debut.

Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies from Nos. 4-8 while playing alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Romo, who plays to a plus-0.3 handicap, said earlier in the week that he expected some jitters once it came time to put a tee in the ground.

"You'll be nervous on Thursday on the first tee. Just going to be," Romo said. "I've got to get through the first three or four holes. If I can handle the nerves on the first three or four holes, I think that I'll settle in and hopefully just play the way I've been playing."

Click here to watch live first-round action on Golf Channel.

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Kim's missing clubs show up at sporting goods store

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 1:58 pm

More than a month after they were lost on an American Airlines flight, the clubs I.K. Kim used to win last year's Ricoh Women's British Open turned up on the sale rack of a California sporting goods store.

Kim's clubs became lost in late January when she flew from Miami to San Diego, with the airline suggesting she simply rent a new set. A few weeks later, Kim shot a "What's in the bag" television segment which according to a Golfweek report caught the eye of three good samaritans in the San Diego area.

The three men recognized Kim's clubs for sale at a local Play It Again Sports, with the major winner's tools listed at $60 each. The store even had Kim's tour bag, complete with her LPGA player badge. Kim filmed the reunion with her bag - containing wedges and a few hybrids, minus the head covers - at the Carlsbad police station:

Kim was back in southern California this week for the Kia Classic, where she'll begin play Thursday morning at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.

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New dad Garcia removes shoes, wins match

By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 12:48 am

AUSTIN, Texas – In one of the day’s most explosive matches, Sergio Garcia rolled in an 8-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to defeat Shubhankar Sharma, 1 up, at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

The duo halved just nine holes on Day 1 at Austin Country Club, with Garcia going from 2 up through four holes to 1 down with five holes to play.

But the Spaniard rallied with five birdies over his final eight holes and pushed his record to 20-17-1 in the Match Play. He also gave himself his best chance to advance out of pool play since the format began in 2015.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

The victory continued what has already been a memorable week for Garcia, whose wife, Angela, gave birth to the couple’s first child last Wednesday.

“I already feel like I’m a winner after what happened on Wednesday,” Garcia said. “Obviously, it's something that we're so, so happy and proud of and enjoying it as much as possible.”

The highlight of Garcia’s round on Wednesday came at the 12th hole when he took a drop on a cart path. After considering his options, he removed his shoes and hit his approach from 212 yards to 29 feet for a two-putt birdie to halve the hole.

“I have spikes. So if I don't take my shoes off, I'm going to slip. It's not the kind of shot that you want to slip,” Garcia said. “I had tried it a couple of times on practice swings and I was already slipping a little bit. So I thought I would just take my shoes off, try to get a little bit in front of the hole and it came out great.”