Quinney Masters Field for Six-Shot Triumph
Holding a comfortable seven-stroke lead as play began, the 23-year-old fired a final-round 4-under 68 for a 72-hole total of 23-under 265, six shots ahead of James Driscoll. Driscoll also wound up second to Quinney in the 2000 U.S. Amateur Championship. Iain Steel of Malaysia was third, eight shots back, while Jim Rutledge ended up tied for seventh at 11-under.
Any doubts that Quinney would be rattled with the big cushion were erased early when he birdied two of his first three holes. The total score was just four shots shy of the Canadian Tour record on a 72-hole layout. Tim Clark of South Africa finished 27-under at the 1998 Royal Oaks New Brunswick Open.
Quinney has had some memorable moments in his young career, most notably when he held off Driscoll in a 39-hole marathon final in the 2000 U.S. Amateur final. On Sunday, just after he put the finishing touches on a masterful week of golf, the former Arizona State University star described the feeling of winning for the first time as a pro.
I think this is going to take a while to sink in, said Quinney, who collected $16,000. Hopefully, this will be one of many, but you will always remember your first win.
It was the third time in as many Tour events this year that a former U.S. Amateur star came out on top. Floridian Steve Scott, runner-up to Tiger Woods at the 1996 final, captured the Texas Classic in Houston three weeks ago before 1998 champion Hank Kuehne won the Texas Challenge in Austin a week later. Quinney finished T2 and T5, respectively, at those tournaments. Kuehne wound up T5 Sunday after firing a final round 66.
I dont think were that dominant, each one of us just seems to be playing good golf now, added Quinney. Weve all proven ourselves at the highest level of competition as amateurs, so maybe that has something to do with it. But to go three-for-three is surprising.
Quinney, a three-time All-American at Arizona State, dominated the 7,044-yard layout all week. He established a McCormick Ranch course record with an opening-round 9-under 63, and had just two bogeys through 72 holes. Quinney also hit 63 of 72 greens in regulation and played the four par-5 holes at 13-under. Driscoll, who was 6-under after seven holes Sunday, felt Quinneys lead was just too much to overcome.
Jeff will probably be the first to tell you he didnt leave a whole lot of shots on the course, he said. That was just one of those dream weeks, and he played great. But Im pleased, there were a lot of good things this week.
Rutledge will now return home to Victoria, Canada, to prepare for the North American leg of the Buy.Com Tour season, which gets under way late next week in Louisiana.
I didnt give myself enough chances, but all in all it was a decent week for me, said Rutledge, a six-time Canadian Tour winner. But you have to hand it to Quinney - if you take him out of the equation, you have a great finish to the tournament. But he was head and shoulders above everyone this week. It was like he played a different course.
Full-field scores from the Scottsdale Swing at McCormick Ranch
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
Scott and Sunesson a one-week partnership
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Adam Scott has been in between caddies for the last month and went with a bold stand-in for this week’s Open Championship, coaxing veteran looper Fanny Sunesson out of retirement to work for him at Carnoustie.
Sunesson caddied for Nick Faldo in his prime, as the duo won four major titles together. She also worked for Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia before a back injury forced her to retire.
But for this week’s championship, Scott convinced the Swede to return to the caddie corps. The results have been impressive, with the Australian following an opening 71 with a second-round 70 for a tie for 16th place.
“It's been going great. Fanny is, obviously, a fantastic caddie, and to be able to have that experience out there with me is certainly comforting,” Scott said. “We've gotten along really well. She's picked up on my game quickly, and I think we think about things in a very similar way.”
Scott was also asked about a potential long-term partnership between the duo, but he didn’t sound hopeful.
“It's just for this week,” he said. “It would be up to her, but I don't think she's making plans of a comeback. I was being a bit opportunistic in contacting her and coaxing her out of retirement, I guess. But I think she's having a good week. We'll just take it one week at the moment.”
After tense Augusta Sunday, Rory ready to be aggressive
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy temporarily lost his superpowers during the Masters.
In one of the most surprising rounds of the year, he played tentatively and carefully during the final day. Squaring off against the major-less Patrick Reed, on the brink of history, with the backing of nearly the entire crowd, it was McIlroy who shrank in the moment, who looked like the one searching for validation. He shot a joyless 74 and wound up six shots behind Reed.
No, the final round was nowhere near as dispiriting as the finale in 2011, but McIlroy still sulked the following week. He binge-watched TV shows. Devoured a few books. Guzzled a couple of bottles of wine. His pity party lasted a few days, until his wife, Erica, finally dragged him out of the house for a walk.
Some deeper introspection was required, and McIlroy revealed a healthier self-analysis Friday at Carnoustie. He diagnosed what went wrong at Augusta, and then again two months later at the U.S. Open, where he blew himself out of the tournament with an opening 80.
“I was worrying too much about the result, not focusing on the process,” he said. “Sunday at Augusta was a big learning curve for me because, even if I hadn’t won that tournament, but I went down swinging and aggressive and committing to every shot, I would have walked away a lot happier.”
And so McIlroy has a new mantra this week at The Open.
Let it go.
Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the repercussions. Don’t play scared.
“I’m committed to making sure, even if I don’t play my best golf and don’t shoot the scores I want, I’m going to go down swinging, and I’m going to go down giving my best,” he said. “The result is the byproduct of all the little things you do to lead up to that. Sometimes I’ve forgotten that, and I just need to get back in that mindset.”
It’s worked through two rounds, even after the cool, damp conditions led McIlroy to abandon his ultra-aggressive strategy. He offset a few mistakes with four birdies, shooting a second consecutive 69 to sit just a couple of shots off the lead.
During a sun-splashed first round, McIlroy gleefully banged driver on almost every hole, flying or skirting the bunkers that dot these baked-out, undulating fairways. He wasn’t particularly accurate, but he also didn’t need to be, as the thin, wispy rough enabled every player to at least advance their approach shots near the green.
Friday’s weather presented a different challenge. A steady morning rain took some of the fire out of parched fairways, but the cooler temperatures also reduced much of the bombers’ hang time. Suddenly, all of the bunkers were in play, and McIlroy needed to adjust his driver-heavy approach (he hit only six) on the fly.
“It just wasn’t worth it,” he said.
McIlroy hit a few “skanky” shots, in his words, but even his bigger misses – on the sixth and 17th holes – were on the proper side, allowing him to scramble for par and keep the round going.
It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s opened a major with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. He’s gone on to win three of the previous four – the lone exception that disastrous final round (80) at Augusta in 2011.
“I don’t want to say easy,” he said, “but it’s felt comfortable.”
The weekend gets uncomfortable for everyone, apparently even four-time major winners who, when in form, ooze confidence and swagger.
Once again McIlroy has that look at a major.
The only thing left to do?
Let it go.
Z. Johnson may have to pay for the jet home
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Zach Johnson will have some bragging rights when he gets back to the ultimate golf frat house on Friday after a second-round 67 moved him into the lead at The Open.
Johnson is rooming with Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Kevin Kisner, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler this week at Carnoustie. It’s a tradition that began two years ago at Royal Troon.
Kisner joked on Thursday after he took the first-round lead that the perks for the house/tournament front-runner were limited: “I probably get to eat first,” he said.
There is, however, one running wager.
“Two years ago we, I don't know if you call it bet, but agreement that, if you win, you get the jet and you buy it, so we go home,” said Johnson, who added that because of varying travel arrangements, the wager might not be needed this year. “I didn't pay last year. Somebody else did.”
Spieth won last year’s championship at Royal Birkdale.
Despite the expense, Johnson said he didn’t know how much it costs to charter a private flight back to the United States, but it’s a good problem to have.
“I’d be happy to fork it over,” he smiled.