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.
 
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    Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

    By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

    SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

    More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.

    English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

    ''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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    Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

    By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

    After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

    The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

    The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

    Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

    “I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

    In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.

    “It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

    The Tour did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the agreement or the end to the lawsuit.

    Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

    “It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”

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    PGA Tour Latinoamérica moving season finale to Doral

    By Nick MentaOctober 18, 2018, 2:36 pm

    PGA Tour Latinoamérica announced Wednesday that it will play its season finale, the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship, at Trump National Doral from Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

    The limited-field event will feature the top 60 players on the circuit's money list competing on Doral's Golden Palm Course.

    “We are very happy that we will continue playing the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship in South Florida, and Doral is a tremendous community that we know will open its arms to our players and this tournament,” PGA Tour Latinoamérica president Jack Warfield said in a statement.

    The PGA Tour ended its more than 50-year relationship with Doral and the resort's Blue Monster course back in 2016, when Cadillac's title sponsorship of the World Golf Championship lapsed as then-candidate Donald Trump was mounting his bid for the presidency.

    “We continue to stand by our earlier statement, and the statement of other golf organizations, that Mr. Trump's comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf,” then-PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in December 2015, referring to Trump's campaign rhetoric concerning Mexicans and Muslims.

    The event was moved to Mexico City in 2017 and renamed the WGC-Mexico Championship.

    The Latinoamérica Tour Championship was staged the last two years at Melreese Country Club in Miami, where David Beckham is currently attempting to build a stadium for his Major League Soccer expansion club, Inter Miami.

    PGA Tour Latinoamérica's release states that the move to Doral "keeps the event in this part of the Sunshine State and allows the tournament to maintain its ties to The First Tee of Miami as a charitable recipient and sponsor." Melreese, the city's only public golf course, is home to the First Tee of Miami, which naturally opposes Beckham's efforts to close the facility and repurpose the land.

    A November referendum will ask voters to decide if the city should negotiate a no-bid lease with Beckham's ownership group, which seeks to create a $1 billion dollar complex comprising of the proposed stadium, youth soccer fields, a park, commercial and retail space, and a hotel.

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    Im wins Web.com Player and Rookie of the Year awards

    By Nick MentaOctober 18, 2018, 1:22 pm

    Sungjae Im on Thursday was named the Web.com Tour's 2018 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year.

    Im won twice on the Web.com this year, taking the season opener in January, The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, and the season finale in August, the WinCo Foods Portland Open, to become the first player in history lead the circuit's money list wire-to-wire.

    Im is the first Korean-born player to win the Web's POY award and, at 20 years old, its youngest recipient.

    In a player vote, Im bested Anders Albertson, Sam Burns, Kramer Hickok and Martin Trainer, 2018's only other two-time winner, for POY honors, and Burns, Hickock, Trainer and Cameron Champ for ROY honors.

    “My first year on the Web.com Tour was an incredibly happy time for me,” Im said, “and it’s pretty surreal that I was able to win the first and last tournament of the season. I honestly thought I would spend about two to three years on the Web.com Tour before making it to the PGA Tour, so I’m happy to have achieved my goal so soon. I’m grateful to have earned the Player of the Year honors and I hope to finish the remainder of the PGA Tour season on a good note.”

    In his first PGA Tour start, Im tied for fourth at the Safeway Open, earning $241,280, a little less than half of the $534,326 he amassed in 25 starts as the Web's regular-season money winner.

    Playing this week's CJ Cup in his native South Korea, Im opened with a 1-over 73 Thursday.