Barr Birdies Out to Win Royal Caribbean

By Sports NetworkFebruary 9, 2003, 5:00 pm
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Dave Barr birdied the last four holes Sunday to earn his first victory on the Champions Tour at the Royal Caribbean Golf Classic. Barr, who became the first Canadian to win on the Champions Tour, shot a 5-under 67 to win the tournament by one shot at 9-under-par 207.
 
Gil Morgan, the overnight leader, and Bobby Wadkins, the first-round leader, had makable birdie chances at the 54th hole but missed their putts to fall one short of a possible playoff. Morgan managed a 2-under 70 on Sunday, while Wadkins, who battled back pain throughout the tournament, carded a 4-under 68.
 
Several players were jockeying for the lead down the stretch but Barr, who was as many as four shots off the lead as he made his way to the 15th hole, came out of the pack. He collected a birdie there and holed a seven-foot birdie putt at 16 to get to 7-under par.
 
Wadkins reached 9-under par after back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15. Wadkins, who played with Barr in the group ahead of Morgan, hit a 5-iron into the bunker at 17. He blasted out to 10 feet but missed the putt to drop back to 8-under par.
 
Barr also used a 5-iron at 17 but ran home a 35-footer for birdie to reach 8-under and tie Wadkins and Morgan in first place.
 
Morgan recorded only two birdies on Sunday through his first 16 holes. At the 17th, he drained a 15-foot birdie putt to go to 9-under par while his two closest competitors hit their drives on 18.
 
Wadkins drove into the first cut on the left side before knocking his approach through the green into a back bunker. Barr found the fairway off the tee but pulled his second shot left, near the grandstands.
 
Barr received a free drop and pitched his third 35 feet past the hole. Wadkins ran his bunker shot six feet past the hole, giving him a realistic chance at birdie and a tie for first.
 
Barr putted first and holed his second 35-foot birdie putt in as many holes. He was in at 9-under after four straight birdies but still had to watch as Wadkins putted and Morgan finished the hole.
 
Wadkins' birdie putt slid past the hole and he tapped in for par. He finished one shot behind Barr at 8-under par and was off to the fitness trailer to try and heal his aching back.
 
Morgan, now tied with Barr at 9-under, drove well right of the fairway and into a hazard. He took a drop back in the fairway and roped his third shot just short of the putting surface but in good shape to get up and down and force a playoff.
 
Morgan chipped his fourth shot just left of the hole but seven feet past. His par putt to force a playoff lipped out of the hole, giving Barr a dramatic come-from-behind victory.
 
'Standing there on 14, I didn't think it was feasible,' said Barr, who pocketed $217,500 for the win. 'Bobby was going along pretty good and I also got a bit of help from Gil. I don't think I've ever birdied the last four to win before.'
 
'I wish I could have finished a shot or two lower but I didn't,' said Morgan, a 21-time winner on the Champions Tour. 'I made a mistake at the last hole. That was the killer. I thought if I made par, I could salvage the situation. It was hard for me.'
 
Despite the back problems, Wadkins still had one goal in mind Sunday - win the tournament.
 
'The spasms were just as bad today,' said Wadkins. 'I was thinking about nothing but winning the golf tournament. I'm glad it's over but I have no regrets.'
 
Barr, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, took a long road to the Champions Tour. He birdied the 72nd hole at Q-School to earn his card and is now the first player from north of the border to win on the 50-and-over circuit.
 
'So few of us in Canada can play at this level,' said Barr. 'It's satisfying to get the job done. It's been a long time. Finishing fifth at Q-School last fall really took some pressure off.'
 
Rodger Davis finished alone in fourth at 7-under par, followed by Hubert Green, who came in fifth place at 5-under-par 211.
 
Isao Aoki (69), Mike McCullough (69), Allen Doyle (71) and Tom Purtzer shared sixth place at minus-4.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Royal Caribbean Classic
  • Full coverage of the Royal Caribbean Classic
  • Champions Tour Finds a New Home on The Golf Channel
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    Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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    Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

    If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

    Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


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    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

    There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

    Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

    John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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    Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

    By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

    “I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

    But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

    “I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”

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    Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

    Hoylake in 2006.

    That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

    So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

    With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

    “The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”