Davis Edges Casey for ANZ Championship

By Sports NetworkFebruary 15, 2004, 5:00 pm
PORT STEPHENS, Australia -- Brian Davis racked up 17 points Sunday to pick up a one-point win at the ANZ Championship. Davis erased a 12-point deficit as he finished the event with 44 points, one point clear of Paul Casey, the 2003 champion.
 
Nick Flanagan, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion who hails from Australia, posted eight points in the final round to move into a tie for third place with 39 points. He was joined there by Thomas Levet (seven points) and Scott Gardiner (seven points).
 
Overnight leader Steve Webster struggled Sunday to minus-two points to fall into a tie for sixth with 37 points. He was joined there by Nick O'Hern, who notched three points.
 
Play was contested using the Modified Stableford Scoring system. The system awards eight points for a double-eagle, five points for an eagle and two points for a birdie. No points were handed out for pars, and one point was deducted for each bogey, with players losing three points for double-bogey or worse.
 
Davis dropped another point behind Webster as he bogeyed the first hole. He responded in fine fashion though. He rolled in a birdie try at the next and made it two straight as he birdied the third.
 
The Englishman was not done there. He drained another birdie try at the fourth and capped a string of four in a row with a birdie at the fifth.
 
Davis, who now owns two European Tour titles, fell back to 33 points as he dropped a shot at the par-4 seventh at Horizons Golf Resort. He atoned for the mistake with a birdie at the ninth.
 
He continued his surge on the back side with birdies on Nos. 11 and 13 to climb to 39 points, where he briefly held the lead. Davis again stumbled to a bogey at the 15th to fall out of the lead.
 
The 31-year-old bounced back with birdies at the 16th and 17th to grab a share of the lead at 42 points. Davis closed with a birdie at the last to move to 44 points, three clear of the field as Webster bogeyed the 13th and 14th to fall back to 41 points.
 
'I can't putt any better than that, that was unbelievable,' said Davis, whose other European tour title came at the 2000 Peugeot Open de Espana. 'I rolled the ball beautiful. I had three bogeys, but my main goal today was just to go out there and make as many birdies as I can and see where I finish.'
 
Webster's struggles continued, while Casey made an attempt at repeating as champion.
 
Casey opened the final round 10 points behind Webster. He got off to a quick start with back-to-back birdies from the second and picked up another birdie at the fifth.
 
He capped his opening side with a birdie at the ninth to move to 37 points. Casey again rolled home back-to-back birdies from the 12th to tie Webster atop the leaderboard.
 
Casey managed just one more birdie, at the 18th, to fall one point shy of becoming the first person to repeat as champion since Greg Norman won the first two ANZ Championships in 1988-89.
 
Webster struggled throughout his round. He bogeyed the second and third to quickly fall out of the lead. He vaulted back into the lead at 42 points thanks to an eagle at the par-5 ninth.
 
Around the turn, he dropped another shot at the 10th to fall into a share of the lead. Webster birdied the 12th to regain first, but fell out of the lead for good with bogeys at the 13th and 14th. He later bogeyed the 17th and double-bogeyed the last to fall into a share of sixth.
 
Ricky Barnes, the 2002 U.S. Amateur champion, shared eighth place at 35 points with Peter Fowler, Bradley Hughes and Brett Rumford.
 
Michael Campbell, a six-time winner on the European Tour. was one point farther back with 34. He was joined there by Joakim Haeggman, Jose Manuel Lara, Martin Lemesurier and David McKenzie
 
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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.