Clarke holds off McGinley to win KLM Open

By Sports NetworkAugust 24, 2008, 4:00 pm
European TourZANDVOORT, Netherlands ' Darren Clarke ran off three straight birdies from the 10th en route to a 4-under 66 Sunday, which helped him to a four-stroke win at the KLM Open.
 
Clarke completed the tournament at 16-under-par 264. He was one stroke off Tobias Dier's tournament record of 263. It was Clarke's second win of the season and 12th of his European Tour career.
 
'It's nice to come somewhere knowing that I had to play well and then actually do it,' said Clarke, whose two sons were at the tournament and saw him win in person for the first time. 'We try to get ourselves to play as well as we can every week.'
 
Paul McGinley fired a 6-under 64 to take second place at 12-under-par 268.
 
Neither Clarke nor McGinley is qualified for the European Ryder Cup team, but their 1-2 finish could help them gain a captain's selection for team captain Nick Faldo.
 
'I have two weeks to impress Nick and show him I'm playing okay. The first week is out of the way and I seemed to have done that,' Clarke stated.
 
Henrik Stenson, the sixth-ranked player in the world, birdied the first three holes to take the early lead, but stumbled on the back nine as he hit just four fairways en route to a 2-under 68. That left him alone in third at minus-11 at Kennemer Golf Club.
 
Stenson ran off three birdies in a row from the first to jump to 12 under, one stroke clear of Clarke.
 
Clarke parred the first, but tripped to a bogey on the second to slide back to minus-11. However, he regained the lead from Stenson with back-to-back birdies from the fourth.
 
'I got caught in between clubs on the second...and got too aggressive there,' Clarke admitted. 'I knew I was swinging well and hit some really nice shots after that and knocked a few putts in.'
 
After Stenson tied Clarke for the lead on six, Clarke pitched his third to 3 feet at the par-5 seventh and rolled that in for birdie and a two-shot lead as Stenson bogeyed the hole.
 
Clarke caught fire around the turn. He birdied the 10th from four feet out and came right back with a kick-in birdie on No. 11. Clarke sank an 8-footer for birdie at 12 and that gave him a five-shot lead at 17 under.
 
After a pair of pars, Clarke missed the green at the par-3 15th and that led to his second bogey of the day. Stenson could have cut Clarke's lead to three, but he missed a birdie putt on 15.
 
Clarke parred the final three holes to secure the victory.
 
After falling behind with his bogey at the seventh, Stenson tripped to a double-bogey on the ninth to slide four back.
 
The Swede scrambled to three straight birdies from the 11th to get within four at 13-under. However, he bogeyed the 14th and 18th and drop into third place.
 
McGinley birdied three of the first five holes to get to 9 under. Around the turn, he jumped to 12 under with a birdie on 10 and an eagle at the 12th. The Irishman bogeyed the 13th for the third time this week, but recovered that stroke with a birdie on No. 14. He parred out to take second.
 
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    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

    Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

    He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

    In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

    Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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    Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.