Bean Earns First Title in Nearly 20 Years

By Sports NetworkOctober 1, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Greater Hickory Classic at Rock BarnCONOVER, N.C. -- Andy Bean birdied the first playoff hole Sunday to defeat R.W. Eaks and earn his first Champions Tour win the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.
 
'It's been a long time,' said Bean, who pocketed $240,000 for the win. 'I've come close and not done it, but it feels good. It's a relief. The money is nice, but the trophy is what I wanted. Your name stays on the trophy forever.'
 
Bean, who went wire-to-wire for the victory, withstood a late charge from Eaks, who was also in search of his first trip to the winner's circle on the elder circuit. Eaks birdied six of his last seven holes in regulation and forced Bean to birdie the last to force the sudden-death playoff.
 
Eaks finished Sunday's final round with a 7-under 65, while Bean plodded through a 4-under-par 68. The duo finished 54 holes at 15-under-par 201 and were about to embark on the sixth playoff this year on the Champions Tour.
 
The pair returned to the par-5 closing hole at Rock Barn Golf Club & Spa. Both found the fairway at the reachable par five and both landed safely on the putting surface.
 
Bean was about 25 feet from the hole, while Eaks left himself close to 45 feet. Bean was able to two-putt for birdie, but Eaks was not so fortunate. Eaks lipped out a 4-foot birdie putt to give Bean his first professional win since the 1987 Kapalua International.
 
'R.W. played great today and you feel for him,' acknowledged Bean. 'He was making birdies and I was making pars. He snuck up on me and played really solid today.'
 
Chip Beck shot a 5-under 67 on Sunday and finished alone in third place at minus-13. Dana Quigley posted a 6-under 66 in the final round and took fourth at 12-under-par 204.
 
Joe Ozaki (66), Tom Purtzer (68), Hajime Meshiai (68) and reigning U.S. Senior Open champion Allen Doyle shared fifth place at 11-under-par 205.
 
Bean took a two-shot lead into the final round and played brilliantly at the start. He birdied the second, fifth, seventh and ninth holes to build a four-shot advantage.
 
Things went downhill from there for Bean. He three-putted from 70 feet for a bogey at the 10th, then found a plugged lie in the bunker en route to another bogey at 12.
 
That same hole is where Eaks caught fire. He rolled in a 14-foot birdie putt there, then sank a 12-footer for birdie at the 13th. Eaks converted an 8-foot birdie try at 14, then polished off his fourth in a row with a 13-footer at No. 15.
 
Bean got a stroke back at 15 when he knocked a 9-iron inside 2 feet. With both making birdies at 15, Bean took a one-shot lead to 16, a hole both parred.
 
Eaks holed a 21-foot birdie putt at the 17th to match Bean atop the leaderboard. Eaks found the bunker with his second at 17 and blasted out to 3 feet. He sank that birdie putt and Bean two-putted from close to 25 feet to stay tied and force the extra session.
 
It was there that Bean prevailed.
 
'All in all, from the first day I got here, I played well,' said Bean. 'Everything was in sync and it felt good today. You don't forget what winning feels like, but it feels good to win again.'
 
Eaks played well on Sunday and it was almost a miracle he played at all. Eaks tweaked a back injury on Saturday and had it worked on Sunday morning. He considered withdrawing, but stuck it out and finished second.
 
'I've worked hard to get here,' said Eaks. 'It was lots of fun out there. When Andy had a big lead, I'll admit I was just thinking of finishing second. I'm happy. This was a great week for me.'
 
Larry Nelson carded a 5-under 67 and finished alone in ninth place at minus-10.
 
Defending champion Jay Haas fired a 6-under-par 66 and tied for 10th with Walter Hall (66) and Brad Bryant (70) at 9-under-par 207.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn
  • Full Coverage - Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn
  • USGA/Chris Keane

    Even with broken driver, Salinda beats Hagestad at U.S. Am

    By Ryan LavnerAugust 17, 2018, 2:52 am

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – With a trip to the U.S. Amateur quarterfinals on the line, and with the Pacific Ocean staring him in the face, Isaiah Salinda piped a 330-yard drive down Pebble Beach’s 18th hole.

    Not a bad poke with a replacement driver.

    Salinda’s Round of 16 match against Stewart Hagestad got off to a rocky start Thursday afternoon with an awkward tee shot on the second hole.

    “The ball came out weird, with no spin,” said Salinda’s caddie and former Stanford teammate, Bradley Knox. “He said, ‘Yeah, that felt weird.’”

    Salinda looked at the bottom of his Callaway Epic driver and noticed a crack.

    Worried that they'd have to play the rest of the round with only a 3-wood, Knox called a Callaway equipment rep, told him the issue, and was relieved to hear he'd meet them at the back of the third tee. Salinda teed off the next hole with a 3-wood – he’d taken driver there all week – and wound up in a tricky spot, on the side of a mound, leading to a bogey.

    “Then they came over and cranked the driver,” Knox said. “It was like a NASCAR pit crew.”

    The replacement driver was nearly identical – same head, same loft, same weighting – except for the lie angle. The new one was a degree flatter than his gamer, which led to a few more pulled shots than usual.

    “It took a little while to recover the mindset that we’d had the rest of the week,” Knox said.


    Match scoring from U.S. Amateur

    U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos


    Salinda downplayed the equipment malfunction – “I just had to adjust, and it wasn’t really a problem” – but he didn’t play well early. After trailing for just one hole during his first two matches, he was 4 over par and 2 down through 10 holes against Hagestad, the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion who’d finally made match play after eight previous failed attempts.

    On 11, Salinda finally got going, stuffing a wedge shot to 10 feet and recording his first birdie. He followed with three clutch pars before another good approach on 15, leading to a conceded birdie to square the match.

    On the home hole, Salinda bombed his drive about 30 yards past Hagestad and had 220 yards to the flag. It was a perfect 4-iron distance, and he sent a rocket into a blinding sunset.

    “I never saw it,” Salinda said. “I told my caddie: ‘Where is that? I have no idea.’ But it felt good.”

    A lone voice shrieked as the ball landed on the green. They knew the shot had to be tight. Years ago, Stanford senior Chris Meyers had made an albatross on 18 for a walkoff victory with Lee Janzen at the PGA Tour Champions’ First Tee Open. Knox thought they’d come close to duplicating the feat.

    “Probably almost had a Chris Meyers,” Knox said, chuckling, as they walked up the fairway.

    The shot never had a chance to drop – turns out the spectator was well-lubricated – but it still was only 35 feet away, for eagle. Salinda cozied his putt to a few feet and could only watch as Hagestad’s last-ditch 25-footer stopped a rotation short of the cup.

    The Round of 16 victory continued a breakout summer for Salinda. His 15th-place showing at the NCAA Championship kick-started a three-month stretch in which he’s finally taken his game to the next level.

    “He’s shown flashes of brilliance before,” Knox said, “and he’s had the game. But now he has the consistency and the confidence that it’ll come back time and time again.”

    Salinda shot 62 in the third round and won the Pacific Coast Amateur, which boasts one of the strongest fields of the summer. Then he finished third in stroke play at the Western Amateur before a quarterfinal loss in match play.

    Now he’s one step closer to his biggest victory yet – even with a backup driver.

    Getty Images

    Salas (62) leads LPGA's Indy Women in Tech

    By Associated PressAugust 17, 2018, 12:50 am

    INDIANAPOLIS - Lizette Salas' waited 77 minutes to line up her 4-foot putt to take the lead Thursday at the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    She refused to let the weather delay get to her.

    When the 29-year-old California player returned to the course, she quickly rolled in the birdie putt, finished her round with another birdie at No. 18 and took a two-shot lead over Angel Yin and Nasa Hataoka with a course record-tying 10-under 62.

    ''I didn't even think about it the entire time,'' Salas said. ''I was hanging out with Danielle (Kang) and she was giving me her silly dad jokes. So it definitely kept my mind off of it. I was really excited to be back and to finish off with a birdie, from off the green, was the icing on the cake.''

    It's the lowest score by a female player at the Brickyard Crossing.

    Defending champion Lexi Thompson opened last year's inaugural tournament with a 63, one shot off of Mike McCullough's 62 in the PGA Champions Tour's 1999 Comfort Classic.

    But the way the saturated 6,456-yard course played Thursday, Salas needed virtually every putt of her career-best round to reach the top of the leaderboard.

    The morning starters took advantage of overnight rain by shooting right at the pins.

    And nobody made a bigger early splash than Yin, the 19-year-old Californian who finished second in last year's rookie of the year race.

    She opened with five straight birdies and shot 8-under 28 on the front nine. Only a par on No. 6 prevented her from becoming the sixth LPGA player to shoot 27 on nine holes. South Korea's Mi Hyang Lee did it most recently at the 2016 JTBC Founders Cup.

    Yin also tied the third-lowest nine-hole score in relation to par in tour history.

    Her only bobble came with a bogey on No. 13 and she closed out her best career round with a birdie on No. 18.


    Full-field scores from Indy Women in Tech Championship


    ''I have never done that before,'' she said. ''I had nine putts, I think, on the front nine, which is incredible. I've never had that many little putts. But it just felt good. Everything was working.''

    Last year's runner-up for rookie of the year has never won an LPGA Tour title in her home country though she did win in a playoff at Dubai on the Ladies European Tour.

    Everybody seemed to find their groove Thursday.

    Eighty-eight of the 143 players shot under par and 54 were 3-under or better.

    And with more rain in the forecast Thursday night and Friday, the scores could go even lower as a star-studded cast chases down Salas, Yin and Hataoka.

    Four players, including Kang and Jane Park, are three shots behind.

    Seven players, including last year's tournament runner-up Lydia Ko, are four shots back. Ko was tied with Yin for the lead - until she knocked her tee shot on the par-4, 16th into the water. She wound up with a double bogey and birdied the final hole to finish with 66.

    After taking a monthlong break to recover from physical and mental exhaustion, Thompson looked relaxed and comfortable in her return to the course. She shot 68.

    ''It was hard for me to take the break because I didn't want to show weakness,'' she said. ''But at the same time, it takes a lot of strength to acknowledge that you need that kind of break and just take time for yourself, especially when you're in the spotlight like this.''

    Salas, meanwhile, started fast with an eagle on the par-5 second and finished with a flurry.

    She birdied three straight holes on the front side to get to 5-under, added birdies at Nos. 12 and 14 to get to 7-under and then birdied the final three holes - around the approaching storm - to put herself in contention for her first title since the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.

    ''I have been just striking the ball really well this entire year, and just glad some more putts dropped today,'' she said. ''I was really refreshed. I didn't practice at all last week, and I was just really eager and excited to be back.''

    Getty Images

    Sordet opens with 62 to grab lead at Nordea Masters

    By Associated PressAugust 16, 2018, 11:23 pm

    GOTHENBURG, Sweden - Clement Sordet opened with four straight birdies to shoot 8-under 62 and take the first-round lead of the Nordea Masters on Thursday.

    Sordet says ''I wasn't really focusing on the score, I was just enjoying it.''

    The Frenchman, who shot his lowest European Tour round, has a two-stroke lead over Scott Jamieson of Scotland and Lee Slattery of England.

    Hunter Stewart is the highest-placed American after a 5-under 65 left him on a four-way tie for fourth with Christofer Blomstrand, Tapio Pulkkanen and Richard Green.

    Defending champion Renato Paratore's hopes of becoming the first player to successfully retain the title look in doubt after the Italian shot 9-over 79 at Hills Golf Club.

    Getty Images

    Peterson confirms plans to play Web.com Finals

    By Will GrayAugust 16, 2018, 9:17 pm

    After flirting with retirement for much of the summer, John Peterson confirmed that he will give it one more shot in the upcoming Web.com Tour Finals.

    Peterson, 29, had planned to walk away from the game and begin a career in real estate in his native Texas if he failed to secure PGA Tour status before his medical extension expired. His T-13 finish last month at The Greenbrier appeared to be enough to net the former NCAA champ at least conditional status, but a closer look at the numbers revealed he missed out by 0.58 points in his last available start.


    Full-field scores from Wyndham Championship

    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    But Peterson was buoyed by the support he received from his peers at The Greenbrier, and when he got into the Barbasol Championship as a late alternate he decided to make the trip to the tournament. He tied for 21st that week in Kentucky, clinching enough non-member FedExCup points to grant him a spot in the four-event Finals.

    Last month Peterson hinted that he would consider playing in the Finals, where 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season will be up for grabs, and Thursday he confirmed in an Instagram post that he will give his pro career "one last push."

    The Finals kick off next week in Ohio with the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship and will conclude Sept. 20-23 with the Web.com Tour Championship. Peterson will be looking to rekindle his results from 2013, when he finished T-5 or better at each of the four Finals events while earning fully-exempt status as the top money earner.