Singh Whistling a Major Tune Once Again

By Sports NetworkAugust 15, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 PGA ChampionshipHAVEN, Wis. -- Vijay Singh birdied the first extra hole of a three-hole aggregate playoff Sunday, then made two pars to defeat Chris DiMarco and Justin Leonard and win his second PGA Championship.
Singh won the title in 1998, then donned the green jacket with a win at the 2000 Masters. It was also Singh's fifth win of the season, virtually assuring himself Player of the Year honors.
'This makes my year,' said Singh, who pocketed $1,125,000 for the win. 'I played well at the Masters and I did not win. I played well the first two days of the U.S. Open, played well at the British, but this is it. I wanted one major again and it came at the right time.'
Singh, the third-round leader, struggled to a 4-over 76 in the final round. Leonard, who held a two-shot lead on the back nine Sunday, shot a 75 and DiMarco posted a 1-under 71. The trio finished regulation knotted at 8-under-par 280.
On the first extra hole, No. 10 at Whistling Straits, DiMarco and Leonard hit fairway-metals off the tee. Singh pulled driver and ran his tee ball just short of the green. DiMarco's approach took a bad bounce into the rough, while Leonard hit his second 20 feet from the hole on the back fringe.
Singh pitched to 6 feet. DiMarco's chip rolled 4 feet right of the hole and Leonard's birdie try ran 3 feet by. Singh sank his birdie putt and the two others made par to give Singh the advantage.
At the par-3 17th, Singh hit the shot of the tournament with a 3-iron that hit the slope in the center of the green. The ball ran down 5 feet from the cup. DiMarco's tee ball barley missed the putting surface some 80 feet short and Leonard landed in the rough on the right side.
Leonard pitched his second inside 4 feet and DiMarco chipped his birdie effort to 4 feet. Singh stepped up and missed the birdie putt left. All three made their shortish par putts and 18 was once again the stage for a great finale.
At the closing playoff hole, Singh held a one-shot lead and hit a 3-wood off the tee, while DiMarco and Leonard both found the fairway with drivers. Singh hit a utility wood 45 feet from the flag for his second.
Leonard and DiMarco both missed the putting surface, then DiMarco blasted a bunker shot 35 feet past the hole. Leonard chipped 5 feet by the flag so Singh needed to two-putt for the title.
Singh lagged his birdie putt a foot from the stick. He marked, then quickly tapped in for the par and the win.
Singh ditched the belly putter two weeks ago and won the Buick Open. This caps off that decision.
'Coming back from a belly putter and winning two in a row, I never thought at any stage that I was going to come back and putt so well so quickly and win golf tournaments,' Singh said.
Ernie Els and Chris Riley each bogeyed the last to shoot matching rounds of 1-over 73. They tied for fourth place at 7-under-par 281.
Reigning Masters champion Phil Mickelson never got anything going on Sunday and shot a 2-over 74. He shared sixth place with K.J. Choi (70) and Paul McGinley (69) at 6-under-par 282.
Tiger Woods, a two-time winner of the Wanamaker Trophy, posted a 1-over 73 and tied for 24th at minus-2. His majorless streak now dates back to the 2002 U.S. Open, a span of 10 tournaments.
'It's frustrating because I didn't win, simple as that,' said Woods. 'I felt like I was playing so well coming into this event, and I was. It's unfortunate that I just didn't continue that way, that first day when I played decent but putted so poorly.'
Woods may not have putted well, but Singh took 34 putts on Sunday and still managed to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy. Singh's birdie at the 10th in the playoff was his first of the day and his 76 was the highest final-round score by an eventual PGA Championship winner.
'I hung in there,' said Singh, who has now won the last eight times he has held a piece of the 54-hole lead. 'It looked ugly when you look at the score, but it was a good 4 over for me. I felt I played nicely. When you're in a playoff, you know you can't do worse than second. When Justin let me off at the last hole, that kind of gave me relief.'
Leonard bogeyed the 18th for the second time in as many days as the hole named, 'Dyeabolical' for course designer Pete Dye, lived up to its name on Sunday.
DiMarco had the best look all day when his 6-iron in regulation landed 12 feet from the hole. His birdie putt came up short, but that was the last good chance the final groups had.
Els missed a 6-foot par putt at the last that cost him a chance at the playoff. Riley, normally one of the steadiest players in the game with the flat stick, also missed a putt of less than 10 feet to fall out of the running.
When Leonard and Singh reached 18, Leonard, the 1997 British Open champion, missed the green short with a 5-iron from 204 yards out. Singh hit a 6-iron on the right side of the green, and missed his 35-footer short.
Leonard chipped 12 feet short of the stick. He missed the putt, then Singh holed his to force the three-man playoff, the first since John Mahaffey, Tom Watson and Jerry Pate in 1978.
'I just felt like it was a really good 5-iron,' said Leonard, referring to his approach on the 72nd hole. 'I was trying to hit it at the hole. It was a good club and I felt I was swinging the club nicely. When I hit the shot, I thought I just ended this golf tournament.'
Leonard built a two-shot lead Sunday afternoon, but DiMarco caught up with three birdies in a four-hole span from the ninth. When Leonard missed the green right at No. 10 and failed to convert the 20-footer for par, he and DiMarco were tied for the lead.
DiMarco fell down the leaderboard at 15 when his drive landed in the thick rough on the left side. He chipped eight feet by with his fourth shot, then holed the bogey putt to fall one behind Leonard.
Leonard drained an 18-foot birdie putt at 13 to move two clear of DiMarco. Both players dropped strokes on the second nine, DiMarco at 16, then Leonard at the 14th.
Leonard, who also lost a playoff at the 1999 British Open, had a chance at taking a three-shot lead, but missed a 7-footer for birdie at the 518-yard 15th.
Singh hung in despite hitting few fairways and even fewer putts. He parred every hole from eighth to the 14th, but bogeyed 15 when his approach went well left of the putting surface. Singh blasted 15 feet short and his par try lipped out of the hole.
Leonard now had a two-shot lead on the par-5 16th tee, but hit his 2-iron second shot into a bunker. His pitching-wedge landed on the fringe and his fourth stopped 5 feet from the hole. Leonard missed the par putt right, then parred 17.
Thanks to Leonard's mis-club on 18, Singh and DiMarco were given new life. Singh took advantage and moved his PGA Tour record to 4-1 in playoffs. Leonard fell to 0-4 in extra sessions and DiMarco moved to 1-1.
DiMarco may have lost his first big chance at a major title, but he picked up something else on Sunday. DiMarco's tie for second vaulted him to eighth on the American Ryder Cup points standing. The top 10 after Sunday automatically made the team.
'I'm proud of myself that I went out and got it done,' said DiMarco, who made the team for the first time. 'Once I made the par on 17 and hit my 6-iron on the green at 18, I looked at my caddie and said, 'that's good enough for sure.''
Riley's tie for fourth moved him to 10th, so he will be making his Ryder Cup debut. Fred Funk, who missed the cut, fell to ninth, but also made his first Ryder Cup team.
Steve Flesch and Jay Haas were ninth and 10th on the points table, respectively, but got bumped out this week. They will have to wait to see if U.S. captain Hal Sutton selects them as captain's picks Monday morning. So will Leonard. He had to win to move into the top 10.
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    Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

    So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

    Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Jordan Spieth: 7/4

    Xander Schauffele: 5/1

    Kevin Kisner: 11/2

    Tiger Woods: 14/1

    Francesco Molinari: 14/1

    Rory McIlroy: 14/1

    Kevin Chappell: 20/1

    Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

    Alex Noren: 25/1

    Zach Johnson: 30/1

    Justin Rose: 30/1

    Matt Kuchar: 40/1

    Webb Simpson: 50/1

    Adam Scott: 80/1

    Tony Finau: 80/1

    Charley Hoffman: 100/1

    Austin Cook: 100/1

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    Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

    One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

    McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

    McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

    “I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”

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    Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:33 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.

    Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.

    “Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”

    One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.

    “When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “It’s going to be a true test, and we’ll get to see really who’s hitting it the best and playing the best.”

    Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.

    This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.

    “It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”

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    Final-round tee times for the 147th Open Championship

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:26 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth begins his quest for a second consecutive claret jug and fourth major overall at 9:45 a.m. ET Sunday at Carnoustie, playing alongside Xander Schauffele. This marks the first time Schauffele has ever held a 54-hole lead in his career.

    The Kevins – Kisner and Chappell – are in the penultimate group, 10 minutes earlier at 9:35 a.m. Kisner is tied with Spieth and Schauffele at 9 under par. Chappell is two shots back at 7 under.

    But it’s the next group that has people interested the most. Tiger Woods is paired with Francesco Molinari at 9:25 a.m. Woods, in search of his 15th major championship and first in 10 years, shot a third-round 66 to vault into a tie for sixth place, four shots behind the lead. He began the day six shots behind. Molinari has two wins and two second-place finishes in his last four events.

    Rory McIlroy was within striking distance of the lead but bogeyed two of the last three holes to drop into a sixth-place tie. He is paired with 2017 Open runner-up Matt Kuchar at 9:05 a.m.

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