Fleisher Wins Again Near Home

By Sports NetworkFebruary 8, 2004, 5:00 pm
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Bruce Fleisher birdied his final hole Sunday to defeat Dana Quigley by a stroke and win the Royal Caribbean Golf Classic at Crandon Park Golf Club. He shot a final-round 1-under 71 to finish the tournament at 6-under-par 210.
Quigley, already in the clubhouse, was at 5 under par when Fleisher came to the 18th. Fleisher found the fairway off the tee but knocked his second into rough next to a front bunker. He chipped to four feet and calmly sank the putt to visit the winner's circle.
The win was Fleisher's first this season and his 17th since joining the Champions Tour in 1999. His first victory on the elder circuit came at this event that same year and Fleisher also hoisted the trophy in 2000.
'It's over. Thank God,' said Fleisher, who pocketed $217,500 for the victory. 'It's fun to win. The fans were great, my family was out here. It's a delight and I'm very, very thrilled.'
Quigley, six groups ahead of Fleisher, fired a 4-under 68 on Sunday to finish alone in second place at minus-5.
John Bland needed to eagle the par-5 closing hole to match Fleisher at 6 under but instead made par. He shot a 1-over 73 and tied Gil Morgan for third place at 4-under-par 212. Morgan posted a 2-under 70 in the final round.
Wind was a huge factor in the final round as conditions were very difficult. Only two players broke 70 on Sunday but the tournament came down to three players.
Quigley was in the clubhouse at minus-5, while Fleisher and Bland were completing the back nine. Fleisher was steady, starting at the par-5 14th when he found a bunker with his second shot. He blasted out to the collar of the green and two-putted for par.
At the 15th, Fleisher drove into a fairway bunker and was forced to lay up short of the green. He pitched to 20 feet and canned the par-saving putt to keep his share of first place.
Fleisher picked up a brilliant sand save at the 16th, then drained a four-footer for par at the par-3 17th.
After Fleisher scrambled for his birdie at 18, the tournament was up to Bland, who joined Fleisher and Quigley at 5 under, thanks to a birdie at the 14th. Bland missed a seven-footer for par at the 17th to fall to minus-4 and trail Fleisher by two.
At the 18th, Bland drove into the first cut on the left side. He tried to reach the green in two but instead found the grandstand left of the putting surface. Bland took his drop and needed to hole the pitch but ended up left of the green.
'I was very fortunate today,' admitted Fleisher, who resides in nearby Ballen Isles, Fla. 'It was very difficult. The scores show it. Dana must have played out of his gourd. He always does.'
This is Quigley's second consecutive runner-up finish on the Champions Tour. He finished second to Fuzzy Zoeller at the season-opening MasterCard Championship.
Quigley began the round in a tie for 20th place and nearly pulled off the amazing comeback.
'You never leave winning out of your game plan,' said Quigley. 'Anything can happen on a golf course this hard. I was basically doing what everyone else did out here - trying to survive.'
Jim Thorpe matched Quigley for low round of the day honors with a 4-under 68. He shared fifth place with Mark McCumber (70), John Jacobs (72) and overnight co-leader Wayne Levi, who struggled on the back nine Sunday and finished with a 75. The group came in at 3-under-par 213.
Tom Jenkins (72), Tom Kite (73), Ed Fiori (74) and Morris Hatalsky (74) tied for ninth place at minus-2.
Don Pooley, who shared the lead with Levi after the second round, carded a 5-over 77 and tied for 13th at minus-1.
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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

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    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

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    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


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    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.