Lafeber Captures Dutch Open

By Sports NetworkOctober 12, 2003, 4:00 pm
HILVERSUM, Netherlands -- Maarten Lafeber earned his first European Tour victory Sunday when he captured the Dutch Open. Lafeber posted a 3-under 67 and finished at 13-under-par 267, which was good for a one-shot victory over Mathias Gronberg and overnight leader Soren Hansen.
Jamie Donaldson (69) and Steen Tinning (68) shared fourth place at 10-under- par 270.
Lafeber became the third Dutch player to win on the European Tour and the first home player to capture the Dutch Open since Joop Ruhl in 1947.
'It feels incredible,' said Lafeber. 'I wanted to win so badly the last few months and to win this tournament means so much to me. To be playing here is great and even winning is just incredible. The support I had was unbelievable for four days.'
Hansen, who played with Lafeber in Sunday's final pairing, held a one-shot lead heading into Sunday's final round but extended his lead with a 10-foot birdie putt at the second and a tap-in birdie at No. 3.
Lafeber knocked a 4-iron 20 feet left of the hole at the sixth and made the birdie putt to cut the deficit to two shots. Hansen dropped a shot at the par-4 eighth to hold a one-shot lead but the par-4 ninth proved to be a critical hole.
Hansen drove into the left rough and had to hook his second shot around a tree to try and hit the green. His ball never came around and his approach landed 30 yards right of the green behind a tree. Hansen's third never reached the green and he pitched his par chip ran home nine feet past the hole.
Lafeber knocked his second less than three feet from the hole and Hansen missed his bogey-saving putt. Lafeber sank his short birdie putt and the three-shot swing gave Lafeber a one-shot lead over Gronberg and a two-shot edge over Hansen.
Gronberg, playing several groups ahead of the final pairing, squandered opportunities at the par-5 12th when he three-putted for par and at 16 when he landed in a bunker and failed to get up and down for par.
The battle was down to Lafeber and Hansen with Gronberg in the clubhouse. Hansen left a 30-foot eagle try at the 12th on the lip but tapped in for par cutting the margin to one. Lafeber made birdie on the hole to go up by two and the lead became three when Hansen missed a short par save at the 13th.
Hansen birdied the 14th to get within two and rolled in a six-footer for birdie at the 16th to creep within one of the lead. Both players had good looks at birdie at the 17th but neither converted so it was on to the closing hole, a par-5, at Hilversumsche Golf Club.
Hansen hit a long drive down the fairway at 18 and Lafeber drove into the first cut of the left rough. Lafeber came up just short of the green with his second while Hansen sprayed his second right of the green.
Lafeber chipped up to four feet and Hansen took a run at the bottom of the cup. Hansen played his shot far too left of the hole and had nine feet for birdie. He missed that putt and opened the door for a two-putt victory for Lafeber.
Lafeber took that many putts but still earned his first title on tour.
'I was so glad not to have to make that putt on the last,' admitted Lafeber. 'Tension was building up. Soren played really well. It was a rough day but I played really solid.'
Hansen finished with a 1-under-par 69 while Gronberg made the biggest move of the day with a 5-under 65 to tie at 12-under-par 268.
'I was hoping to play 5- or 6-under and see what could come with it,' said Gronberg. 'Top-5- I would taken that before the day started. I wasn't really happy with my swing today and I had some really good breaks.'
Alastair Forsyth (67), Gary Evans (68) and Gary Murphy (70) shared sixth place at minus-9, followed by Miguel Angel Jimenez, Fredrik Andersson, Stephen Dodd, Gary Emerson, Kenneth Ferrie and Adam Mednick, who tied for ninth at 8-under-par 272.
Related Links:
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    Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

    Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

    Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

    Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.

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    "I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

    Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

    Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

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    Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

    A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

    The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

    There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.

    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

    But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

    As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

    This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

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    Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

    There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

    Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

    Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.

    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

    Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

    The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

    Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.

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    Daly (knee) replaced by Bradley in Open field

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 12:13 pm

    Former champion John Daly has withdrawn from The Open because of a right knee injury and will be replaced in the field at Carnoustie by another major winner, Keegan Bradley.

    Daly, 52, defeated Costantino Rocca in a memorable playoff to win the claret jug at St. Andrews in 1995. His lingering knee pain led him to request a cart during last month's U.S. Senior Open, and when that request was denied he subsequently withdrew from the tournament.

    Daly then received treatment on the knee and played in a PGA Tour event last week at The Greenbrier without the use of a cart, missing the cut with rounds of 77-67. But on the eve of the season's third major, he posted to Twitter that his pain remains "unbearable" and that a second request for a cart was turned down:

    This will be just the second time since 2000 that Daly has missed The Open, having also sat out the 2013 event at Muirfield. He last made the cut in 2012, when he tied for 81st at Royal Lytham. He could still have a few more chances to improve upon that record, given that past Open champions remain fully exempt until age 60.

    Taking his place will be Bradley, who was first alternate based on his world ranking. Bradley missed the event last year but recorded three top-20 finishes in five appearances from 2012-16, including a T-18 finish two years ago at Royal Troon.

    The next three alternates, in order, are Spain's Adrian Otaegui and Americans Aaron Wise and J.B. Holmes.