Harrington Captures Dunhill Title

By Sports NetworkOctober 8, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Dunhill Links Championship ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Padraig Harrington carded a 4-under 68 Sunday and ran away with his second Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title.
Harrington finished at 16-under-par 271, five clear of the field. The Irishman also won this title in 2002.
Padraig Harrington
Padraig Harrington stand on the Swilcan Bridge with his dunhill links trophy.
'It's always special to come here and win at St. Andrews, as well as Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, these are great golf courses,' Harrington stated. 'The first time I won here four years ago it was a little bit tighter. This was the first time I could walk down 18 and enjoy it. It was very special.'
Bradley Dredge, who played with Harrington, shared the lead with the Irishman as they went to the 11th hole. However, the Welshman struggled to a double bogey on 11 and never was able to catch up. He drained a birdie putt at the last to finish alongside Anthony Wall and Edward Loar.
That trio shared second place at 11-under-par 276. World No. 6 Ernie Els closed with a 70 to take fifth at minus-10.
For the first three rounds, players competed over three courses -- Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and the Old Course at St. Andrews. Sunday's final round was played at St. Andrews.
Harrington trailed by one entering the round, but he erased that deficit with a 10-foot birdie putt on the first.
Dredge had a tough stance in a greenside bunker at the par-5 fifth. He blasted 45 feet past the pin, but drained that long putt for birdie to regain the lead.
Harrington dropped in a 12-footer for birdie on the ninth to join Dredge at 14 under. At the 11th, Harrington again had a 12-footer for birdie, but Dredge played first.
Dredge's tee shot stopped against the left side of a bunker short of the green and he was forced to play out backwards. He pitched his third onto the putting surface, but two-putted for a double bogey which dropped him to 12 under.
Harrington then made his birdie putt to move three clear of Dredge and two ahead of Loar. No one was able to pressure the Irishman the rest of the way as he played safe down the stretch.
'Obviously my birdie to Bradley's double there on 11 made a big difference to Bradley,' Harrington said. 'But I needed to keep ahead of the others. I was very wary of that.'
At the 14th, Harrington had to blast out of a fairway bunker with his second at the par-5. He reached the back fringe with his third and two-putted for par.
From there, Harrington two-putted for par on each of the next three holes. At the 18th, he pitched his second to 3 feet and kicked in the birdie putt for the convincing win.
'It did give me a bit of comfort the last couple of holes when I had a three-shot lead,' Harrington admitted. 'I knew I could go left all the way home and be safe. After that good par on 14, I knew I had it.'
Harrington, who also won the pro-am portion of this event with his partner J.P. McManus, jumps into second place on the Order of Merit with the victory, his 10th on the European Tour. He is a just over 200,000 euros behind leader Paul Casey.
With a chance to win the Order of Merit for the first time, he said 'it looks like I'll be there' at the Mallorca Classic in two weeks.
After his double bogey on 11, Dredge bogeyed 13 and 17 to fall to minus-10, but a birdie at the last put him at 11 under.
Loar flew up the leaderboard with five birdies in a six-hole stretch from the fifth to grab a share of the lead with Dredge and Harrington at 14 under. However, Loar bogeyed the 11th and stumbled to two more bogeys down the stretch to end in a share of second.
'I was surprisingly calm,' Loar said when he tied for the lead. 'I started holing a couple of putts and all of a sudden, boom I was right there. I had a couple iffy little shots coming in though.'
Wall opened with three straight birdies and turned at minus-11 thanks to birdies on seven and nine. Wall birdied 11 and 12 to get within one of the lead, but he bogeyed the next two holes to slide back down the leaderboard. He birdied 16 then bogeyed 17 to end at minus-11.
Peter Hanson was joined by Casey in sixth place at 10-under-par 278. Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Paul Broadhurst, Simon Dyson, Johan Edfors, James Kingston and Soren Kjeldsen shared 10th at minus-9.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
  • Full Coverage - Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

    ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

    The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

    Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

    ''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

    The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.

    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

    Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

    Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

    ''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

    Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

    First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.

    Getty Images

    Henley will try to put heat on Casey in final round

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:55 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – While it will be a tall task for anyone to catch Paul Casey at the Travelers Championship, the man who will start the round most within reach of the Englishman is Russell Henley.

    Henley was in the penultimate group at TPC River Highlands on Saturday, but he’ll now anchor things during the final round as he looks to overcome a four-shot deficit behind Casey. After a 3-under 67, Henley sits at 12 under through 54 holes and one shot clear of the three players tied for third.

    Henley closed his third round with a run of five straight pars, then became the beneficiary of a pair of late bogeys from Brian Harman that left Henley alone in second place.

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    “Could have made a couple more putts, but to end with two up-and-downs like that was nice,” Henley said. “I felt a little bit weird over the shots coming in, put me in some bad spots. But it was nice to have the short game to back me up.”

    Henley has won three times on Tour, most recently at the 2017 Houston Open, and he cracked the top 25 at both the Masters and U.S. Open. But with Casey riding a wave of confidence and coming off an 8-under 62 that marked the best round of the week, he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him in order to nab trophy No. 4.

    “I think I can shoot a low number on this course. You’ve got to make the putts,” Henley said. “I’m definitely hitting it well enough, and if I can get a couple putts to fall, that would be good. But I can’t control what he’s doing. I can just try to keep playing solid.”

    Getty Images

    Back from back injury, Casey eyeing another win

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:36 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Given his four-shot cushion at the Travelers Championship and his recent victory at the Valspar Championship, it’s easy to forget that Paul Casey hit the disabled list in between.

    Casey had to withdraw from The Players Championship because of a bad back, becoming the only player in the top 50 in the world rankings to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event. He flew back to England to get treatment, and Casey admitted that his T-20 finish at last month’s BMW PGA Championship came while he was still on the mend.

    “I wasn’t 100 percent fit with the back injury, which was L-4, L-5, S-1 (vertebrae) all out of place,” Casey said. “Big inflammation, nerve pain down the leg and up the back. I didn’t know what was going on.”

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Thanks in large part to a combination of MRIs, back adjustments and anti-inflammatories, Casey finally turned the corner. His T-16 finish at last week’s U.S. Open was the first event for which he felt fully healthy since before the Players, and he’s on the cusp of a second title since March after successfully battling through the injury.

    “We thought we were fixing it, but we weren’t. We were kind of hitting the effects rather than the cause,” Casey said. “Eventually we figured out the cause, which was structural.”

    Casey started the third round at TPC River Highlands two shots off the lead, but he’s now four clear of Russell Henley after firing an 8-under 62 that marked the low round of the week.

    Getty Images

    Bubba thinks he'll need a Sunday 60 to scare Casey

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:15 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Perhaps moreso than at most PGA Tour venues, a low score is never really out of reach at TPC River Highlands. Positioned as a welcome change of pace after the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship offers a lush layout that often pushes the balance much closer to reward than risk.

    This is where Jim Furyk shot a 58 on the par-70 layout two years ago – and he didn’t even win that week. So even though Paul Casey enters the final round with a commanding four-shot lead, there’s still plenty of hope for the chase pack that something special could be in store.

    Count Bubba Watson among the group who still believe the title is up for grabs – even if it might require a Herculean effort, even by his standards.

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Watson has won the Travelers twice, including in a 2015 playoff over Casey. But starting the final round in a large tie for sixth at 10 under, six shots behind Casey, he estimates that he’ll need to flirt with golf’s magic number to give the Englishman something to worry about.

    “My 7 under yesterday, I need to do better than that. I’m going to have to get to like 10 [under],” Watson said. “The only beauty is, getting out in front, you have a chance to put a number up and maybe scare them. But to scare them, you’re going to have to shoot 10 under at worst, where I’m at anyway.”

    Watson started the third round three shots off the lead, and he made an early move with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 en route to an outward 32. The southpaw couldn’t sustain that momentum, as bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 turned a potential 65 into a relatively disappointing 67.

    “Bad decision on the par-3, and then a very tough tee shot for me on 17, and it just creeped into the bunker,” Watson said. “Just, that’s golf. You have mistakes every once in a while.”