Allenby Stenson on Top at Doral

By Sports NetworkMarch 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 WGC CA ChampionshipMIAMI -- Henrik Stenson, the winner of the season's first World Golf Championships event, the Accenture Match Play Championship, appears to be making a serious bid at the single-season WGC Grand Slam.
He posted a 5-under-par 67 on Thursday and shares the opening-round lead of the WGC-CA Championship with Robert Allenby after a windy and rainy first day at Doral.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is four off the lead at Doral. (WireImage)
This is the first year the event at Doral joined the World Golf Championships rotation. It was previously the American Express Championship and one player is in a unique position.
Tiger Woods not only won last year's event at Doral, but also the American Express Championship at Mount Juliet Estate in Ireland.
On Thursday, Woods managed only three birdies and two bogeys en route to a 1-under-par 71. He is tied for 10th place, but had a chance to go lower.
Woods reached 2 under par thanks to a birdie at the par-5 first, his 10th hole on Thursday. He missed a 6 -footer for par at the third, then rattled off six consecutive pars, which was not good considering he had three straight birdie chances from inside 12 feet from the sixth.
At the par-3 ninth, Woods knocked his tee ball to 9 feet. Once again, Woods' ball stayed above ground as his flat stick could not get him any closer than four shots to the lead.
'It's just weird out there,' said Woods. 'I putt a lot by memory and a couple of the putts did the exact opposite of what they used to do.'
The weather was a factor on Thursday as rain fell periodically, but it was the wind that flummoxed players.
'Just go out there and fight your hardest,' said Stenson, who is the fifth-ranked golfer in the world. 'I think a lot of times you have to be smart and miss it in the right places. Don't short-side yourself in these conditions.'
Stenson also began on the back nine Thursday and birdied his second hole. He dropped a shot at the par-3 13th, but reclaimed the lost stroke and more with back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15.
He birdied the par-5 opening hole to reach 3 under par for the championship. Stenson bogeyed the third hole, but got back to minus-3 with a 5-foot birdie putt at the fourth.
The Swede parred his next two holes, then closed out his round in impressive fashion. He knocked his approach to 5 feet to set up birdie at the seventh, then made it two in a row thanks to a 14-footer at the par-5 eighth.
A par at the ninth was enough to keep Stenson atop the leaderboard. After his somewhat startling victory last month at the Accenture Match Play Championship, more people are getting to know his name.
'I don't know if they have heard about me or not, but if I keep playing well I guess they will,' said Stenson, who also has a win on the European Tour this year. 'That's what I'm trying to do.'
Allenby also started on the second nine and flew out of the gate with back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11. He bogeyed 13, but birdies at 14 and 16 got him to 3-under at the turn.
He reached 4-under at the par-5 first as his second landed in a greenside bunker. Allenby blasted out to tap-in range and took the tournament lead.
Allenby gave himself another tap-in birdie at the fifth, but stumbled down the leaderboard at six. His approach found a bunker and his third came up 10 feet short of the stick. The Aussie missed the par save, but drained a 19-foot birdie putt at eight to join Stenson in the lead.
For the Aussie, the terrible conditions were like home.
'It's hard to control it,' admitted Allenby. 'I just tried to hit three-quarter shots pretty much most of the way in and really stay in control with the shots that I hit.'
Thomas Bjorn carded a 4-under 68 on Thursday and is alone in third place.
Aaron Baddeley, Charles Howell III and two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal are tied for fourth place at 3-under-par 69. Ernie Els, Jim Furyk and Rod Pampling are knotted in seventh at minus-2.
K.J. Choi, Bart Bryant, Sergio Garcia, Rory Sabbatini and Tom Pernice, Jr. joined Woods in 10th place at minus-1.
Last week's winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Vijay Singh, only managed a 2-over-par 74 and is part of a group tied for 38th place. Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen were even worse on Thursday as they both shot rounds of 5-over-par 77 and are tied for 66th place in the 73-player field.
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    Romo rallies to win American Century Championship

    By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 12:42 am

    SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. - Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo rallied from four points back to win his first American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe on Sunday.

    Romo, who retired after the 2016 NFL season and is now an NFL analyst, had 27 points on the day to beat three-time defending champion Mark Mulder and San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, the the leader after the first two rounds.

    ''It's a special win,'' said Romo, who had finished second three times in seven previous trips to the annual celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. ''It feels like you're playing a tournament back home here. The day felt good for a lot of reasons.''

    Romo tapped in for par, worth one point, on the 18th hole to finish with 71 points, three ahead of Mulder, the former major league pitcher. He then caught a flight to Berlin, Wis., where he was to compete in a 36-hole U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament on Monday.

    The American Century Championship uses a modified Stableford scoring system which rewards points for eagles (six), birdies (three) and pars (one) and deducts points (two) for double bogeys or worse. Bogeys are worth zero points.

    Pavelski had a 7-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th that could have tied Romo, but it slid by. He finished with 66 points, tied for third with Ray Allen, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 7.

    Full-field scores from the American Century Championship

    ''It feels like nothing went in for me today,'' Pavelski said. ''But I couldn't ask for more than to have that putt to tie on the last hole.''

    Romo plays as an amateur, so his $125,000 first-place check from the $600,000 purse will go to local charities and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, the primary charitable arm of title sponsor American Century Investments.

    Rounding out the top five were Trent Dilfer, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, and former tennis player Mardy Fish. Each had 62 points.

    Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, who fell out of contention with a mediocre round Saturday, jumped into Lake Tahoe amidst much fanfare after losing a bet to his father, Dell. The elder Curry jumped into the lake last year, so he negotiated a 20-point handicap and won by two points.

    Other notable players in the 92-player field included John Smoltz, the MLB hall of Fame pitcher who two weeks ago competed in the U.S. Senior Open and finished 10th here with 53 points; Steph Curry, who finished tied for 11th with retired Marine and wounded war hero Andrew Bachelder (50); actor Jack Wagner (16th, 47 points); Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (tied for 18th, 44 points); actor Ray Romano (tied for 71st, minus-26 points); comedian Larry the Cable Guy (tied for 77th, minus-33 points); and former NBA great Charles Barkley, who finished alone in last with minus-93 points.

    The tournament drew 57,097 fans for the week, setting an attendance record for the fourth straight year.

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    Singh tops Maggert in playoff for first senior major

    By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 12:10 am

    HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. - Vijay Singh birdied the second playoff hole to beat Jeff Maggert and win the Constellation Senior Players Championship on Sunday.

    Singh knocked in a putt from about 2 feet after a nearly perfect approach on the 18th hole at Exmoor Country Club, giving an understated fist pump as the ball fell in. That gave him his first major title on the PGA Tour Champions to go with victories at the Masters and two PGA Championships.

    Singh (67) and Maggert (68) finished at 20-under 268. Brandt Jobe (66) was two strokes behind, while Jerry Kelly (64) and defending champion Scott McCarron (71) finished at 17 under.

    Maggert had chances to win in regulation and on the first playoff hole.

    He bogeyed the par-4 16th to fall into a tie with Singh at 20 under and missed potential winning birdie putts at the end of regulation and on the first playoff hole.

    His 15-footer on the 72nd hole rolled wide, forcing the playoff, and a downhill 12-footer on the same green went just past the edge.

    Full-field scores from the Constellation Energy Senior Players

    The 55-year-old Singh made some neat par saves to get into the playoff.

    His tee shot on 17 landed near the trees to the right of the fairway, and his approach on 18 wound up in a bunker. But the big Fijian blasted to within a few feet to match Maggert's par.

    McCarron - tied with Maggert and Bart Bryant for the lead through three rounds - was trying to join Arnold Palmer and Bernhard Langer as the only back-to-back winners of this major. He came back from a six-shot deficit to win at Caves Valley near Baltimore last year and got off to a good start on Sunday.

    He birdied the first two holes to reach 18 under. But bogeys on the par-4 seventh and ninth holes knocked him off the lead. His tee shot on No. 7 rolled into a hole at the base of a tree and forced him to take an unplayable lie.

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    Davies a fitting winner of inaugural USGA championship

    By Randall MellJuly 15, 2018, 11:26 pm

    Laura Davies confessed she did not sleep well on a five-shot lead Saturday night at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

    It’s all you needed to know about what this inaugural event meant to the women who were part of the history being made at Chicago Golf Club.

    The week was more than a parade of memories the game’s greats created playing in the USGA’s long-awaited showcase for women ages 50 and beyond.

    The week was more than nostalgic. 

    It was a chance to make another meaningful mark on the game.

    In the end, Davies relished seeing the mark she made in her runaway, 10-shot victory. She could see it in the familiar etchings on the trophy she hoisted.

    “I get my name on it first,” Davies said. “This championship will be played for many years, and there will only be one first winner. Obviously, quite a proud moment for me to win that.”

    Really, all 120 players in the field made their marks at Chicago Golf Club. They were all pioneers of sorts this past week.

    “It was very emotional seeing the USGA signs, because I've had such a long history, since my teens, playing in USGA championships,” said Amy Alcott, whose Hall of Fame career included the 1980 U.S. Women’s Open title. “I thought the week just came off beautifully. The USGA did a great job. It was just so classy how everything was done, this inaugural event, and how was it presented.”

    Davies was thankful for what the USGA added to the women’s game, and she wasn’t alone. Gratefulness was the theme of the week.

    Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open

    The men have been competing in the U.S. Senior Open since 1980, and now the women have their equal opportunity to do the same.

    “It was just great to be a part of the first,” three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner Hollis Stacy said. “The USGA did a great job of having it at such a great golf course. It's just been very memorable.”

    Trish Johnson, who is English, like Davies, finished third, 12 shots back, but she left with a heart overflowing.

    “Magnificent,” said Johnson, a three-time LPGA and 19-time LET winner. “Honestly, it's one of the best, most enjoyable weeks I've ever played in in any tournament anywhere.”

    She played in the final group with Davies and runner-up Juli Inkster.

    “Even this morning, just waiting to come out here, I thought, `God, not often do I actually think how lucky I am to do what I do,’” Johnson said.

    At 54, Davies still plays the LPGA and LET regularly. She has now won 85 titles around the world, 20 of them LPGA titles, four of them majors, 45 of them LET titles.

    With every swing this past week, she peeled back the years, turned back the clock, made fans and peers remember what she means to the women’s game.

    This wasn’t the first time Davies made her mark in a USGA event. When she won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1987, she became just the second player from Europe to win the title, the first in 20 years. She opened a new door for internationals. The following year, Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann won the title.

    “A lot of young Europeans and Asians decided that it wasn't just an American sport,” Davies said. “At that stage, it had been dominated, wholeheartedly, by all the names we all love, Lopez, Bradley, Daniel, Sheehan.”

    Davies gave the rest of the world her name to love, her path to follow.

    “It certainly made a lot of foreign girls think that they could take the Americans on,” Davies said.

    In golf, it’s long been held that you can judge the stature of an event by the names on the trophy. Davies helps gives the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open the monumental start it deserved.

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    Suwannapura beats Lincicome in playoff for first win

    By Associated PressJuly 15, 2018, 10:49 pm

    SYLVANIA, Ohio - Thidapa Suwannapura won her first LPGA event on Sunday, closing with a 6-under 65 and birdieing the first playoff hole to defeat Brittany Lincicome at the Marathon Classic.

    The 25-year-old Thai player is the sixth first-time winner on tour this year. Her previous best finish in 120 starts was seventh at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.

    Suwannapura picked up three strokes over her final two holes, making eagle on the par-5 17th and closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th at Highland Meadows to finish at 14-under 270.

    In the playoff, Suwannapura converted a short birdie putt after Lincicome hit her second shot into a water hazard and scrambled for par.

    Lincicome shot 67. She had a chance to win in regulation, but her birdie putt from about 10 feet did a nearly 360-degree turn around the edge of the cup and stayed out. Next up for the big-hitting Lincicome: a start against the men at the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship.

    Third-round leader Brooke Henderson led by two shots after six holes, but struggled the rest of the way. Back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes dropped her out of the lead. The 20-year-old Canadian finished with a 2-under 69, one shot out of the playoff.