Parry Prevails in Playoff Els Stumbles

By Sports NetworkFebruary 6, 2005, 5:00 pm
VICTORIA, Australia -- Craig Parry birdied the fourth playoff hole Sunday to defeat third-round leader Nick O'Hern and win the Heineken Classic.
The end of regulation was a wild affair as four players were tied for the lead on the 18th tee with three-time defending champion Ernie Els one behind.

Simon Dyson (68) and Jarrod Lyle (71) bogeyed the 72nd hole to fall to 13-under-par 271. Els' ball found the grandstands at 18 and he left with a bogey to shoot 1-under 70. He finished at minus-12 for a solo fifth.
Parry and O'Hern parred the closing hole at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club to finish regulation knotted at 14-under-par 270. Parry shot a 1-under 70 while O'Hern managed an even-par 71 in the final round.

The playoff, the first in tournament history, began at the 18th and O'Hern had the advantage. He had a short putt for birdie, while Parry found a greenside bunker with his approach. Parry left himself with a long par putt, but drained it to put the pressure on O'Hern. The left-hander missed the birdie putt and it was back to No. 18 tee.
On the second playoff hole, O'Hern regained the upper hand as he was inside 10 feet for birdie. Once again Parry sank a par putt, but once again O'Hern was not able to close out his first victory on the European Tour.
The duo halved the 17th and returned to the 18th for the fourth time in almost an hour. O'Hern drove into the rough, but knocked his approach to 10 feet. Parry's second stopped 12 feet from the hole and he converted the birdie try. O'Hern missed for the third time in the playoff from inside 10 feet at 18 and Parry claimed his sixth win on the European Tour.
This is another memorable playoff victory for Parry. Last year at the Ford Championship at Doral on the PGA Tour, he holed a 6-iron from 176 yards for an eagle to defeat Scott Verplank on the first playoff hole.
The back nine on Sunday saw several lead changes, but Lyle and O'Hern shared a two-shot lead with five holes to play. O'Hern stumbled to a bogey at 14 to fall one back, then Lyle, a 23-year-old who turned professional last year, drove into the trees at 15 and also dipped to minus-14.

Dyson joined the group at 14-under par with a birdie at 16, then Parry, who bogeyed three of his first four holes on the back nine, got back into the mix with an 18-foot birdie putt at No. 17.
That set the stage for the par-4 closing hole, but it was more of a situation where players fell down the leaderboard and Parry and O'Hern survived.
Dyson, who played with Els in the group ahead of Parry, O'Hern and Lyle, dumped his approach at 18 into a greenside bunker and failed to get up and down for par.
Els, who could have become the sixth player in golf history to win the same event four consecutive times, knocked his approach into the gallery. He got a drop, but could not save par.

Lyle, who struggled with the driver on the back nine, found the rough on the left side with his tee ball at 18. He bogeyed the hole, but showed he will be ready to win in the near future.

'It was all pretty much a blur,' admitted Lyle. 'I was so happy I was able to take on the whole field for so long.'

That left the stage for Parry and O'Hern. O'Hern had a look at birdie, but missed by almost 5 feet. Parry's putt failed to find the bottom of the cup as his 28-footer came up 2 feet short. O'Hern made his and then Parry finished him off four holes later.

Trevor Immelman (69) and Henrik Stenson (70) tied for sixth place at 11-under par 273. Peter Lonard, who shared the second-round lead with Colin Montgomerie, shot a final-round, even-par 71 to join Simon Kahn (66) in eighth at minus-10.

Camilo Villegas posted a 1-under 70 and took 10th at 9-under-par 275.
Montgomerie carded an even-par 71 on Sunday and tied for 11th place at minus-8.
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    Winning on Kerr's mind this week and beyond

    By Randall MellMarch 24, 2018, 2:11 am

    Cristie Kerr moved into position Friday to do more than win the 21st LPGA title of her career.

    She moved into position to claim an LPGA Hall of Fame point this week.

    Yes, winning is foremost on her mind at the Kia Classic, where she took the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the second round, she’s on a larger quest, too.

    After turning 40 last fall, Kerr was asked what her goals are.

    “The Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it,” she said.

    Kerr is five shots ahead of Lizette Salas (67), In-Kyung Kim (69), Hee Young Park (70) and Caroline Hedwall (70).

    It’s a good time for Kerr to get on a hot streak, with the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration, next week. She has long been one of the best putters in the women’s game, but her ball-striking is impressive this week. She hit 17 greens in regulation Thursday, and she hit 16 on Friday.

    “I like winning,” Kerr said. “I like challenging myself. Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older, with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, `Man, why does my hamstring hurt?’ From working around this hilly golf course.”

    Kerr acknowledged Friday that her body is more vulnerable to time’s realities, but her mind isn’t.

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    “The golf ball doesn't know an age,” Kerr said. “I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.”

    Kerr won two weeks after her 40th birthday last fall, boosting her LPGA Hall of Fame point total to 22. She is five points short of eligibility for induction. A player earns one point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship title. So there’s a lot of Hall of Fame ground to gain this week and next.

    It’s a long-term goal that motivates Kerr to take care of her body.

    “I don't think the golf changes,” Kerr said. “I think, physically, it gets harder as you get older. Like I said, I've got tape on my hamstring. I strained it, just a little bit yesterday, walking around this golf course. It's tough as you get older, just being fresh and rested. I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.”

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    Big names chasing Kerr into the weekend at Kia Classic

    By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 1:55 am

    CARLSBAD, Calif. - Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend.

    The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara.

    ''I like winning. I like challenging myself,'' Kerr said. ''Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, 'Man, why does my hamstring hurt?' From working around this hilly golf course. The golf ball doesn't know an age. I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.''

    She has 20 LPGA victories, winning at Aviara in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.

    ''It's tough as you get older just being fresh and rested,'' Kerr said. ''I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.''

    Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.

    ''I really like this golf course. I really like the environment,'' said Salas, the former University of Southern California player from Azusa. ''My family gets to come out. So much confidence at the beginning of the week, and definitely showed the first two days.

    Jeong Eun Lee was 7 under after a 69, and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu had a 70 to get to 6 under.

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    Ariya Jutanugarn (72), Brooke Henderson (70) and 2016 winner Lydia Ko (71) were 5 under. Shanshan Feng (68) was another stroke back, and Singapore winner Michelle Wie (72) was 1 under.

    Lexi Thompson was 2 over after a 74, making the cut on the number in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.

    Kerr opened with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th, added birdies on the par-4 16th, 18th and second, and ran off three in a row on the par-3 sixth, par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.

    ''I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot,'' Kerr said. ''It's a really good golf course. I think I play better on courses that demand the focus, so I think that's why I've played well here in the past. ... I'm trying not to put limits on myself right now. I've got some good things going on with my swing.''

    She has long been one best putters and green-readers in the world.

    ''I can see the subtleties that a lot of people can't,'' Kerr said. ''It's a gift from God being able to do that. I've always had that, so I'm lucky.''

    Laura Davies withdrew after an opening 82. The 54-year-old Davies tied for second last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix, playing through painful left Achilles and calf problems.

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    DJ hits 489-yard drive, but it doesn't count for history

    By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 12:22 am

    AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Johnson is no stranger to big drives, but even for DJ this one was impressive.

    Trailing in his Day 3 match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Johnson launched a drive at the par-5 12th hole that traveled 489 yards, but that number comes with an asterisk.

    “He got lucky it hit the road,” smiled Kevin Kisner, who was leading the world No. 1, 3 up, at the time. “I thought he would make an eagle for sure, he only had 80 yards [to the hole]. He didn’t hit a very good putt.”

    WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

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    Johnson’s drive, which was 139 yards past Kisner’s tee shot, is the longest recorded on the PGA Tour in the ShotLink era, surpassing Davis Love III’s drive of 476 yards in 2004 at the Tournament of Champions.

    The drive will not go into the record books, however, because the Tour doesn’t count statistics from the Match Play.

    It should also be noted, Kisner halved the 12th hole with a birdie and won the match, 4 and 3, to advance to the round of 16.

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    Durant leads Champions event in Mississippi

    By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 12:21 am

    BILOXI, Miss. - Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Rapiscan Systems Classic.

    Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round at breezy and rain-softened Fallen Oak. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.

    ''It just sets up nice to my eye,'' Durant said. ''It's a beautiful golf course and it's very challenging. The tee shots seem to set up well for me, but the greens are maybe as quick as I've ever seen them here. You really have to put the ball in the right spots. I played very nice today. With the wind swirling like it was, I'm really happy.''

    He won the Chubb Classic last month in Naples, Florida, for his third victory on the 50-and-over tour.

    Full-field scores from the Rapiscan Systems Classic

    ''Done this long enough, Friday's just one day,'' Durant said. ''Especially in a three-day tournament, you've got to go out and shoot three good numbers. Fortunate to put one on the board, but I know I have to back it up with a couple of good days because you can get passed very quickly out here.''

    Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back. He won last month in Boca Raton, Florida

    ''It's probably my best round I've ever had here and it was a tough day to play,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The greens are just lightning fast. They're pretty slopey greens, so very difficult to putt.''

    Steve Stricker was third at 68. He took the Tucson, Arizona, event three weeks ago for his first senior victory.

    ''Just getting it around and managing my game I think like I always do,'' Stricker said. ''You get in the wrong position here with the greens being so fast and you're going to be in trouble. I did that a couple times today.''

    Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and David McKenzie shot 69. Jerry Kelly, the winner of the season-opening event in Hawaii, was at 70 with Wes Short Jr., Glen Day, Gene Sauers and Jesper Parnevik.

    Bernhard Langer opened with a 71, and two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a 72.

    Vijay Singh, coming off his first senior victory two weeks ago in Newport Beach, California, had a 73.