Slawter Sets Record In Eagle Creek Win

By Marty HenwoodAugust 19, 2001, 4:00 pm
After digging himself into a hole late in the final round of Sundays Eagle Creek Classic, Mark Slawter of Raleigh, N.C. was able to climb out just in time for his initial Canadian Tour win.
 
The 27-year-old sank a 10-foot eagle putt on the first playoff hole to defeat close friend Chris Greenwood (Valdese, N.C.) in the fourth consecutive Tour event to go into extra holes. Both Slawter and Greenwood wound up the four-day event at 22-under, a new Eagle Creek tournament record. Rich Massey (Harrington Park, N.J.) finished two shots back, while Winnipegs Todd Fanning and Steve Woods of Pleasanton, Calif. finished tied for fourth at 19-under. Craig Matthew (Ile Bizard, QC) was sixth, which virtually assured him a berth in both PGA Tour events to be staged in Canada next month, the Bell Canadian Open and the Air Canada Championship.
 
Following a third and two-second place results earlier this year, Slawter, who was talked into joining the Canadian Tour this year by Greenwood, was able to step into the winners circle for the first time.
 
After (finishing second in) Winnipeg, I called Chris and thanked him for the advice, laughed Slawter after posting rounds of 64-66-68-68. I think being in the lead for most of the day, had I lost this one, it would have stung a little more than the others.
 
But the victory certainly didnt come without drama. Minutes after Greenwood grabbed par on the 577-yard, par-5 final hole to stay tied, Slawter, playing in the group behind, had a chance to win it outright. But his second shot from 214 yards out found water, and Greenwood, watching from the 18th green, walked towards the scoring tent, confident he would, at worst, be in a playoff. Hitting his fourth shot from 177 yards, Slawter hooked a 6-iron to within nine feet and then snuck the putt through the side door to stay alive.
 
One way or another, I was going for the green (in regulation). Sometimes when you make a mistake like that, you tend to just drop the ball and hit it too quick. But I stayed patient, marched off the distance and made sure I took my time.
 

 
With the win, Slawter moves into third place on the McDonalds Order of Merit. Should he maintain that position through next weeks Aliant Cup in St. Johns, NF, he would be exempted into both the Bell Canadian Open and the ACC. Tentatively scheduled to team with Greenwood at the Casino de Charlevoix Cup in Quebec, a match play event with Tour members taking on the Quebec PGA during the first week of September, Slawter would be happy with either scenario.
 
If I get to play in those two PGA events, greatif not, I get to play a few rounds with my good buddy.
 
Greenwood, meanwhile, was pleased with his showing and knew in order to keep his partner for Charlevoix, he would have to win the tournament.
 
For Mark and myself to meet in a playoff, that was the best thing that could have happened to either of us, he said following his best-ever Tour finish. All day, I wanted him and I to play for it, one-on-one. I told Ray (tournament director Ray Horne) before the playoff that I would have to beat him to keep him as my partner in Quebec.
 
Sitting tied with Slawter for top spot heading into Sunday, Fanning had yet another close call in his quest for that elusive first Canadian Tour win after winding up in second place four times. With Eagle Creek owner and sponsor Andre Lacasse looking on, along with the largest gallery of the weekend, Fanning put up the type of numbers that would have won most other tournaments.
 
You cant tell me that 19-under isnt good enough to win at this course, he reasoned. Its an unbelievable score-a couple of other guys just played better.
 
Dave Pashko of Richmond Hill, ON established a new Eagle Creek course record by firing a 10-under 62, eclipsing the old mark that had been tied by three others this week. The 32-year-old birdied five consecutive holes on the front nine before draining a 60-foot eagle putt on the final hole for the record.
 
I read in the paper this morning that Todd (Fanning) had said the way things were going, a course record could be in the house by the time he teed off, he said after moving from 1 to 11-under for the tournament. And the first guy I see on the putting green when I come off is Todd. This is definitely surprising, but it was there for the taking.
 
Full-field scores from the Eagle Creek Classic
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Aiken, Waring tied at Nordea; Olesen three back

By Associated PressAugust 18, 2018, 5:45 pm

MOLNDAL, Sweden – Paul Waring of England and Thomas Aiken of South Africa share the lead, three shots clear of their rivals, after the third round of the Nordea Masters on the European Tour on Saturday.

Waring was tied for first place with Scott Jamieson after the second round and shot a 1-under 69.

While Jamieson (75) slipped down the leaderboard, Aiken caught up Waring after shooting 67 - despite three straight bogeys from No. 15. He bounced back by making birdie at the last.

Thorbjorn Olesen (67) and Marc Warren (66) are tied for third.

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Koepka: 'Surreal' Woods waited to say congrats at PGA

By Randall MellAugust 18, 2018, 3:47 pm

Brooks Koepka was moved by the respect shown when Tiger Woods waited for a half hour at scoring last Sunday to congratulate Koepka for his PGA Championship victory at Bellerive.

While Koepka stands as an example of the new athletes Woods has attracted to the game, he laughs hearing people compare his body to an NFL player’s.

Those were among the observations Koepka shared Friday on "The Dan Patrick Show."

“That was surreal,” Koepka said of Woods waiting to congratulate him. “To hang around on 18, I wasn’t expecting it. It was probably the coolest gesture he could have done.”

Koepka credits Woods for drawing him to the game.

“He’s the reason I am playing,” Koepka said.

Koepka said playing with Woods in contention was a noisy experience that went beyond the roars Woods created making birdies in front of him.

“Even when he makes contact, you know what shot he’s hitting,” Koepka said. “That’s how loud people are.

“When they are putting [his score] up on the leaderboard, you hear it three holes away.”

About those NFL player comparisons, Koepka said his parents wouldn’t let him play football when he was growing up.

“I wasn’t big enough,” he said.

Koepka said he marveled meeting former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

“To be compared to them, it makes me laugh,” Koepka said. “I’m about the size of a cornerback, maybe a free safety.”

Koepka said he’s just over 6 feet tall and weighs 208 pounds.

“I saw Brian Urlacher give an interview,” Koepka said. “It was kind of funny. He said he was impressed at how big I wasn’t ... If I stand next to Justin Thomas, I’m going to look big. Golf doesn’t really have many big guys.”

Koepka told Patrick he is impressed at the athletes just now coming into golf.

“I see the young guys coming out of college,” Koepka said. “They are bombing it past me. They hit it so far, they are leaving me in the dust. It’s hard to think of, because I’ve been one of the longest hitters on tour.”

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McIlroy skipping first FedExCup playoff event

By Randall MellAugust 18, 2018, 3:19 pm

Rory McIlroy committed to playing the FedExCup Playoffs opener at The Northern Trust, the PGA Tour announced after The Open Championship last month.

But McIlroy left the PGA Championship last week saying he might need to skip the opener to regroup, and that’s just what he is doing.

McIlroy wasn’t on The Northern Trust field list published Friday on the PGA Tour’s website.

“I need to assess where I'm at,” McIlroy said leaving Bellerive last week. “I think the best thing for me to do right now is just sort of take a couple days off, reflect on what I need to do going forward.

“The best thing might be to take that first FedExCup week off and work on my game and come back, hopefully, in a better place for Boston.”

McIlroy also skipped the FedExCup opener in 2015, choosing to make his start in the playoffs at Boston that year. It appears he will do the same this year.

“Historically, the first FedEx playoff event hasn't been my best event of the four,” McIlroy said. “I've played well in Boston. I've played pretty well in the other two.”

McIlroy left Bellerive saying he would do some work on his game and see if he felt ready for the playoffs opener as part of a run of big events leading into the Ryder Cup.

“There's a lot of room for improvement,” McIlroy said. “My swing really hasn't been where I want it to be. It was pretty good at the start of the year. I had a couple of months to work on it, but it's just sort of regressed as the season went on and you start to play tournaments, you start to fall back into some of the habits that you don't want to fall back into."

McIlroy has won once over the last two seasons – at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last March – but he has given himself other chances this year with some frustrating finishes. Overall, he has five finishes of third or better in 2018. He got himself in the final pairing with Patrick Reed at the Masters but stumbled to a T-5 finish. He tied for second at The Open last month.

“Inconsistency with the swing has been the big area,” McIlroy said. “If you look at my statistics, especially with approach play on my irons, and even my driving, even though it's been OK, there's been a two-way miss, with sort of everything throughout the bag, and that obviously isn't a good thing. So that's something I need to work on.”

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Watch: Wagner saves season with walk-off eagle dunk

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 18, 2018, 2:45 am

Johnson Wagner kept his FedExCup Playoff hopes alive on Friday at the Wyndham Championship ... and he did it in dramatic fashion.

Needing a birdie on his final hole of the day to make the cut on the number, Johnson used a 9-iron from 153 yards out to dunk his approach for eagle to get inside the cut line.

Johnson's eagle at the last gave him a 66 for the day and earned him two more rounds to try and get inside the FedExCup top 125 for next week's start of the postseason, The Northern Trust.