Durant King of Magic Kingdom

By Sports NetworkOctober 22, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Funai Classic at the Walt Disney World ResortLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Joe Durant fired a 7-under 65 on Sunday to earn his first PGA TOUR win in five years by capturing the FUNAI Classic at Walt Disney World Resort. He finished at 25-under-par 263, which was good for a four-shot victory.
 
The win was Durant's fourth on the PGA TOUR, but his first since he won back-to-back starts at the Bob Hope and at Doral in 2001. His first-place check of $828,000 vaulted him from 66th on the PGA Tour money list to 29th with a good chance of making it to the TOUR Championship in two weeks.
 
Joe Durant
Joe Durant won his first PGA TOUR title since the 2001 season.
Troy Matteson, who held the overnight lead, lost out on his chance to become the first player since David Duval in 1997 to collect his first two PGA TOUR wins in back-to-back weeks.
 
Matteson, who won the Frys.com Open in Las Vegas last week, only managed at 2-under 70 at the Magnolia course, but tied for second place with Frank Lickliter at minus-21.
 
Lickliter polished off a 10-under-par 62 hours before Durant's final putt found the bottom of the cup.
 
Justin Rose, who fired a 60 on Thursday at the Palm course, posted a 3-under 69 and took a solo fourth at 20-under-par 268.
 
Matteson wasted little time in building a two-shot lead with a 9-foot birdie putt at the first, but Durant would strike next. He birdied the third hole, then tapped in a short birdie putt at the par-5 fourth to tie for the lead.
 
It was Lickliter who assumed the top spot on the leaderboard thanks to an amazing, 10-birdie effort on Sunday. He knocked his approach to 3 feet to set up birdie at the 16th, then took the outright lead with a 22-foot birdie putt at the closing hole.
 
Lickliter was in the clubhouse at 21-under par, but Durant matched him there with a 6-foot birdie putt at the eighth. Matteson did not get anything going and parred his next eight holes after his opening birdie.
 
Durant was one ahead of Lickliter and Matteson, but both Durant and Matteson made birdie at the par-5 10th. Durant made a nice up-and-down from a bunker, while Matteson routinely two-putted for his birdie four.
 
At the par-3 12th, Durant kicked in a 3-footer for par. Matteson left himself with 44 feet for birdie, but missed that putt by almost 7 feet. He missed that putt and now found himself two behind.
 
At the driveable, par-4 13th, Durant laid up off the tee, but hit his approach inside 2 feet. Matteson blasted out of a greenside bunker to 8 feet and sank the birdie putt to stay two behind.
 
Durant birdied the par-5 14th and was three up on Matteson, but the dagger came in the form of a 15-foot birdie putt for Durant at 16. That put him four ahead, but Matteson moved out of the tie with Lickliter at 17 when his 4-footer fell into the cup.
 
There was little drama about the outcome as Durant reached the green safely in two. Matteson found a bunker with his second and could not save par, falling into a tie for second place.
 
Durant lagged his long birdie putt to tap-in range and did just that for the win.
 
Davis Love III, who won in Greensboro two weeks ago, threw away some cash on 18 Sunday. He double bogeyed the closing hole to shoot a 3-under 69 and fall into a tie for fifth place with Vijay Singh (64), Nick Watney (68) and Marco Dawson (67). The group finished at 19-under-par 269.
 
Jesper Parnevik (65), Jerry Kelly (68), Mark Calcavecchia (68), Heath Slocum (69) and Charles Howell III (70) tied for ninth place at 18-under-par 270.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Funai Classic at Walt Disney World
  • Full Coverage - Funai Classic at Walt Disney World
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    Lauren Thompson and a giant 'gator eating a turtle

    By Grill Room TeamApril 19, 2018, 4:53 pm

    Really, the headline says it all.

    "Morning Drive" co-host Lauren Thompson was playing the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes on Thursday in Orlando, Fla., when her threesome turned into a foursome, with the appearance of a giant alligator. Techincally, it was a fivesome, as the 'gator had a turtle in its mouth.



    Hey, it's a slow news week for Grill Room.

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    Sources confirm Charles Schwab to sponsor Colonial event

    By Rex HoggardApril 19, 2018, 2:42 pm

    Multiple sources have confirmed to GolfChannel.com that officials at Colonial are poised to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Charles Schwab Corporation.

    Tournament officials scrambled this year after Dean & DeLuca ended its sponsorship of the event just two years into a six-year agreement, pulling together an assortment of local sponsors and renaming the event the Fort Worth Invitational.

    Colonial’s status on the PGA Tour schedule became even more uncertain when the PGA Championship announced it would move from August to May, beginning in 2019 as part of a major overhaul of the circuit’s schedule.

    According to the Dallas News, and confirmed by multiple sources at the club, officials plan to announce the new long-term agreement with Charles Schwab on Monday that will begin in 2019.

    News of a long-term sponsorship deal would also suggest the event will remain in May in 2019 and beyond. The Tour has indicated it plans to announce the ’19 schedule at next month’s Players Championship.

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    PNC Extends Title Sponsorship of PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 19, 2018, 1:00 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla., April 19, 2018 – IMG and NBC Sports today announced that The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. has extended its contract as title sponsor of the PNC Father/Son Challenge, the tournament that pairs the games’ legends alongside their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

    PNC’s multi-year extension as title sponsor keeps the PGA Tour Challenge Event in Orlando reflecting the bank’s commitment to Central Florida. PNC has served as title sponsor of the tournament since 2012. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes will continue to play host to the PNC Father/Son Challenge. The 2018 PNC Father/Son Challenge will take place Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16, with television coverage on Golf Channel and NBC.

    “The PNC Father/Son Challenge long ago became one of my family’s favorite golf tournaments,” said 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus. “I have had the pleasure of playing with my sons, and last year, partnering with my 15-year-old grandson GT was a thrill. I am delighted the event—a uniquely special one to us fathers and grandfathers, and perhaps to the many fans out there watching from home or outside the ropes—will continue for many years to come.”

    “After our victory in 2016, I said that this win was as good as anything I have done in my career,” said former World No. 1 and major champion David Duval, who alongside his stepson Nick Karavites captured the 2016 title. “I felt blessed to have Nick inside the ropes with me and to have our family surrounding us all week. That’s what makes the PNC Father/Son Challenge so special, and I’m pleased to hear that PNC has extended its support of the event. This golf tournament means so much to all of us who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to play in this event.”

    The tournament also holds three events in qualifier markets per year. This year they will be in Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

    “The PNC Father/Son Challenge allows fans to see golf’s legends playing the game they love alongside those they love most,” said Alastair Johnston, vice chairman, IMG. “We are grateful for PNC’s ongoing support of this unique tournament and we look forward to returning to Orlando to celebrate golf and family for many years to come.”

    Community support is a key aspect of the tournament and PNC’s sponsorship. PNC is committed to donating $150,000 annually to local non-profits over the life of its sponsorship. Across six previous years of title sponsorship, PNC has already donated $900,000 to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to support the “Healthy Families Orange” program. Over the years, PNC has also had the opportunity through this tournament to co-host events for local women in business, to put on clinics and provide free access to the tournament for active military, and even provide a service dog for a local veteran.

    "PNC's long-standing sponsorship of the Father/Son Challenge reflects the philanthropic values we share with the PGA Tour and the golf community, as well as our focus on strong relationships,” said Bill Demchak, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The PNC Financial Services Group. “As PNC Bank continues to expand its footprint, the PNC Father/Son tournament helps us gain visibility with new audiences and to strengthen the relationships we enjoy today with more than 8 million retail, wealth, and corporate and institutional banking customers across the country.”

    “NBC Sports is extremely proud of our heritage as co-founder for the Father/Son Challenge, one of golf’s most special events that closes out the calendar year on the golf schedule,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports. “Our relationship with PNC Bank elevates this event each year as a must-attend and must-see event for players and fans alike, and we look forward to our continued relationship with PNC Bank for years to come.”

    Past winners of the PNC Father/Son Challenge include some of the biggest names in golf including Raymond Floyd (1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001), Jack Nicklaus (1999), Bernhard Langer (2005-06, 2014), Davis Love III (2012) and David Duval (2016).  Masters champion Angel Cabrera and his son, Angel Cabrera Jr. captured the 2017 title.

    To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or THE PLAYERS Championship in their career. The professional’s partner must not currently hold a Tour card, and while the majority of partners in the history of the event have been the sons of the golf legends, the family-themed tournament has seen daughters, grandsons and one father – Justin Leonard’s dad, Larry – participate over the years.

    The PNC Father/Son Challenge is operated in partnership by IMG and NBC Sports.

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    Fire damages National Golf Links of America clubhouse

    By Will GrayApril 19, 2018, 12:55 pm

    A fire broke out Wednesday at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., causing "extensive damage" to a portion of the historic course's clubhouse.

    According to a 27East.com report, an initial call was made to the Southampton police department about a fire on the roof of the clubhouse at 11:34 a.m. With the club's gates too narrow to fit a fire truck through, more than 100 firefighters from various departments helped douse the flames by transporting water up a hill to the east side of the clubhouse.

    The fire was reportedly extinguished by 2:30 p.m., with no injuries requiring medical attention. According to a Golf Digest report, the club was undergoing construction on its outdoor eating area known as "the Birdcage" and that most of the club's historical documents reside on the opposite end of the clubhouse from where the fire broke out and was contained.

    Opened in 1911, National Golf Links of America was designed by C.B. MacDonald and hosted the inaugural Walker Cup in 1922. The biennial matches returned in 2013 to NGLA, which is often rated among the top courses in the U.S. and sits adjacent to Shinnecock Hills, site of this summer's U.S. Open.