Fasth Holds Off Garcia in Spain

By Sports NetworkOctober 22, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Mallorca ClassicMALLORCA, Spain -- Niclas Fasth cruised to a 2-under 68 Sunday to earn a three-stroke win at the Mallorca Classic.
Fasth completed the event at 5-under-par 275. It was his fifth career win on tour and second of the season. He was also victorious at the Andalucia Open, which was also played in Spain.
'I've had a somewhat average summer, but I felt the last few weeks that the game was starting to come together again,' stated Fasth. 'I'm having a bit more fun and relaxing a bit more. I played good this week. It was fantastic to win again.'
This was the first time a Spaniard did not win the crown. The former champions here included Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Garcia, the 2004 champion, finished second for the second straight year. Garcia closed with a 68 of his own to end at 2-under-par 278.
Spain's Jose Manuel Lara posted a Sunday 67 to end in a share of third at minus-1. He was joined there by Marc Warren (70). Peter O'Malley took fifth at even-par 280 after struggling to a 2-over 72 in the final round.
Gary Murphy, who entered the week holding onto the last spot to keep his tour card for next year, struggled badly on Sunday. Murphy, who shared the third-round lead with Fasth, closed with a 6-over 76 that dropped him into a tie for 13th. However, he easily retained his tour card for next season, moving to 104th on the Order of Merit.
Fasth opened with five straight pars before two-putting for birdie on the par-5 sixth. That got him to minus-4, where he shared the lead with Murphy. but it would be the last time there was a tie for the lead.
Murphy bogeyed the seventh and eighth at Pula Golf Club to fall two behind Fasth.
Fasth missed the green long at the ninth and was unable to get up and down to save his par. That bogey dropped him to minus-3, where his lead was one.
The Swede bounced right back with a 10-foot birdie putt on 10 to regain his two-stroke cushion. After three routine pars, Fasth pushed his drive into the right rough off the 14th tee.
He hit a solid shot that, after just clearing the water fronting the green, rolled to 14 feet. Fasth drained the birdie putt to get to minus-5, three shots clear of Garcia.
'Sometimes you feel really good about a shot and I did with that. I hit the same shot earlier in the round on seven and it ended up really well,' admitted Fasth. 'So that was the same shot again, it felt great and I'm really proud of that one. To follow up with the birdie there, that felt really good.'
Fasth didn't make it easy on himself down the stretch, but he closed with four straight pars to secure the win. He needed to get up and down for par on each of the last two holes and did just that.
'To be able to relax and enjoy the last hole, it's not often you get a chance to do that,' Fasth said. 'I was three shots clear and I shouldn't really mess that up.'
Garcia never threatened the lead, but was able to take second thanks to three birdies and a bogey.
Paul McGinley closed with a 3-under 67 to join Soren Kjeldsen (70) in a share of sixth place at 1-over-par 281. Ricardo Gonzalez, Gregory Havret, Robert Karlsson, Benn Barham and Robert-Jan Derksen finished one stroke further back at minus-2.
The other big battle at this event was for those trying to keep their tour card for next year. Ian Garbutt ended in a tie for 64th this week, but it was enough for him to move from 121st to 118th on the Order of Merit, meaning he was the last player to secure his card for next season.
That move meant David Drysdale was the last man out as he finished 119th for the second straight year. He does have a chance to secure his tour card for next year through the Challenge Tour. If Drysdale cannot do it there, he will need to go through Qualifying School to try for his 2007 tour card.
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    Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

    “I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

    Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

    Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

    “I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

    It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

    “A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

    “I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

    This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.

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    Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated,” taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

    Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor. Kang made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

    Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

    “I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

    Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

    “I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

    Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

    “No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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    Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

    Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

    “We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

    “I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

    Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

    “Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

    The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

    “We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.