Remesy Tops Van de Velde in Playoff

By Sports NetworkJune 26, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Open de FranceVERSAILLES, France -- Jean-Francois Remesy double-bogeyed the first playoff hole Sunday, but it was good enough to defeat Jean Van de Velde and repeat as the winner of the Open de France.
Remesy and Van de Velde both closed with rounds of 2-under 71 to end at 11- under-par 173. Van de Velde finished with a bogey on the 72nd hole, after his tee shot found water, to force the extra session.
'What a day, what a week,' said Van de Velde. 'It was fun playing against Jean-Francois. He is a tough competitor. He played really well. He made a little mistake on 17, but I made equally on 18.'
The duo returned to the par-5 18th tee for the playoff. Both players found the fairway off the tee, but the pressure then got to each man.
Van de Velde's second shot flew long, left of the green and bounced into the water. Remesy, with an obvious opening, mis-hit his second shot and found the water short of the green.
Remesy took his drop and pitched his third 10 feet. Van de Velde, meanwhile, dropped where his ball went into the water instead of in the drop zone that Remesy played from.
Van de Velde pitched his fourth into a greenside bunker and the ball plugged in the sand. He blasted out into the rough. Van de Velde played his sixth inside of Remesy, but wouldn't need to putt.
Remesy two-putted for double bogey from 12 feet to become the first repeat winner since Nick Faldo in 1988-89.
'This is completely different to last year,' said Remesy. 'It is a shame for Jean as he also deserved the title, but I am very pleased to win it. Two times in a row is incredible. The playoff we were both exhausted and it was difficult to really finish that.'
The final round was completed Sunday despite a weather delay of nearly four hours. A strong thunderstorm brought drenching rain to the Albatross Course at Le Golf National.
Soren Hansen moved into a tie for the lead late on his opening nine, but faltered down the stretch to shoot even-par 71. He ended alone in third place at 8-under-par 276.
Frenchmen Francois Delamontagne and Gregory Havret shared fourth place at 5-under-par 279. They were joined there by Englishman Richard Finch and Australian Peter O'Malley.
Remesy was steady throughout his round. He opened with a birdie on the par- 3 second to get to 10 under.
The 41-year-old then birdied the sixth and made the turn at minus-12 after a birdie on the ninth. Remesy parred his next seven holes. He stumbled to a bogey on the 17th before a par at the last.
Van de Velde, well known for his late collapse at the 1999 British Open, birdied the first. He made it two in a row as he holed out from a greenside bunker on the second.
The 39-year-old bogeyed the par-4 seventh for the second straight round to fall back to minus-11. Van de Velde atoned for the mistake with a birdie on the ninth.
Van de Velde ran in birdie putts on 12 and 14 to get to 13 under and take a one-shot lead. He missed the green at the par-3 16th and was unable to get up and down for his par.
The Frenchman drove into the water on the 18th. He took his drop and found the putting surface with his third. Van de Velde was unable to make his par-saving putt though. The bogey dropped him to 11 under and back to the 18th tee for the playoff.
Van de Velde, playing this week on a sponsor's invitation, has missed most of the last two years after a pair of knee surgeries.
'I had a good chance and couldn't close it out, but I am pretty tough with myself,' Van de Velde said. 'I have to look at it a different way. I haven't been in this position the last three years and haven't been able to play golf the last two, so at least I am playing well, and all I can hope is to have another chance pretty soon.'
Bradley Dredge closed with a 3-under 68 to end in a tie for eighth place at 4-under-par 280. He was joined there by Anders Hansen, Jonathan Lomas, Jose Maria Olazabal and Eduardo Romero. Romero, who shared the lead entering the final round with Van de Velde and Remesy, struggled to a final-round, 5-over 76.
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    Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

    Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

    While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.

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    “It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

    Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

    “I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”

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    Rory tired of the near-misses, determined to close

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:46 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy has returned to the Travelers Championship with an eye on bumping up his winning percentage.

    McIlroy stormed from the back of the pack to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but that remains his lone worldwide win since the 2016 Tour Championship. It speaks to McIlroy’s considerable ability and lofty expectations that, even with a number of other high finishes this season, he is left unsatisfied.

    “I feel like I’ve had five realistic chances to win this year, and I’ve been able to close out one of them. That’s a bit disappointing, I guess,” McIlroy said. “But at least I’ve given myself five chances to win golf tournaments, which is much more than I did last year.”

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    The most memorable of McIlroy’s near-misses is likely the Masters, when he played alongside Patrick Reed in Sunday’s final group but struggled en route to a T-5 finish. But more frustrating in the Ulsterman’s eyes were his runner-up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when he led by two shots with eight holes to go, and a second-place showing behind Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA Championship in May.

    “There’s been some good golf in there,” he said. “I feel like I let Dubai and Wentworth get away a little bit.”

    He’ll have a chance to rectify that trend this week at TPC River Highlands, where he finished T-17 last year in his tournament debut and liked the course and the tournament enough to keep it on his schedule. It comes on the heels of a missed cut at the U.S. Open, when he was 10 over through 11 holes and never got on track. McIlroy views that result as more of an aberration during a season in which he has had plenty of chances to contend on the weekend.

    “I didn’t necessarily play that badly last week. I feel like if I play similarly this week, I might have a good chance to win,” McIlroy said. “I think when you play in conditions like that, it magnifies parts of your game that maybe don’t stack up quite as good as the rest of your game, and it magnified a couple of things for me that I worked on over the weekend.”

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    Sunday run at Shinnecock gave Reed even more confidence

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:08 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – While many big names are just coming around to the notion that the Travelers Championship is worth adding to the schedule, Patrick Reed has been making TPC River Highlands one of his favorite haunts for years.

    Reed will make his seventh straight appearance outside Hartford, where he tied for fifth last year and was T-11 the year before that. He is eager to get back to the grind after a stressful week at the U.S. Open, both because of his past success here and because it will offer him a chance to build on a near-miss at Shinnecock Hills.

    Reed started the final round three shots off the lead, but he quickly stormed toward the top of the leaderboard and became one of Brooks Koepka’s chief threats after birdies on five of his first seven holes. Reed couldn’t maintain the momentum in the middle of the round, carding three subsequent bogeys, and ultimately tied for fourth.

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    It was a bittersweet result, but Reed is focusing on the positives after taking a couple days to reflect.

    “If you would have told me that I had a chance to win coming down Sunday, I would have been pleased,” Reed said. “I felt like I just made too many careless mistakes towards the end, and because of that, you’re not going to win at any major making careless mistakes, especially on Sunday.”

    Reed broke through for his first major title at the Masters, and he has now finished fourth or better in three straight majors dating back to a runner-up at the PGA last summer. With another chance to add to that record next month in Scotland, he hopes to carry the energy from last week’s close call into this week’s event on a course where he feels right at home.

    “It just gives me confidence, more than anything,” Reed said. “Of course I would have loved to have closed it out and win, but it was a great week all in all, and there’s a lot of stuff I can take from it moving forward. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

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    Koepka back to work, looking to add to trophy collection

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 8:53 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Days after ensuring the U.S. Open trophy remained in his possession for another year, Brooks Koepka went back to work.

    Koepka flew home to Florida after successfully defending his title at Shinnecock Hills, celebrating the victory Monday night with Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky, swing coach Claude Harmon III and a handful of close friends. But he didn’t fully unwind because of a decision to honor his commitment to the Travelers Championship, becoming the first player to tee it up the week after a U.S. Open win since Justin Rose in 2013.

    Koepka withdrew from the Travelers pro-am, but he flew north to Connecticut on Wednesday and arrived to TPC River Highlands around 3 p.m., quickly heading to the driving range to get in a light practice session.

    “It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest with you,” Koepka said. “I’m still focused on this week. It was just like, ‘All right, if I can get through this week, then I’m going to be hanging with my buddies next week.’ I know then maybe it’ll sink in, and I’ll get to reflect on it a little bit more.”

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    Koepka’s plans next week with friends in Boston meant this week’s event outside Hartford made logistical sense. But he was also motivated to play this week because, plainly, he hasn’t had that many playing opportunities this year after missing nearly four months with a wrist injury.

    “I’ve had so many months at home being on the couch. I don’t need to spend any more time on the couch,” Koepka said. “As far as skipping, it never crossed my mind.”

    Koepka’s legacy was undoubtedly bolstered by his win at Shinnecock, as he became the first player in nearly 30 years to successfully defend a U.S. Open title. But he has only one other PGA Tour win to his credit, that being the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and his goal for the rest of the season is to make 2018 his first year with multiple trophies on the mantle.

    “If you’re out here for more than probably 15 events, it gives you a little better chance to win a couple times. Being on the sidelines isn’t fun,” Koepka said. “Keep doing what we’re doing and just try to win multiple times every year. I feel like I have the talent. I just never did it for whatever reason. Always felt like we ran into a buzzsaw. So just keep plugging away.”