Spaniard Wins Italian Open in a Playoff

By Sports NetworkMay 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
European Tour MILAN, Italy -- Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano birdied the second playoff hole Sunday to defeat Markus Brier and win the rain-shortened Italian Open.
 
Fernandrez-Castano closed with a 7-under 65 to get into the clubhouse first at 16-under-par 200. He was joined there by Markus Brier, who carded a 4-under 68 in the final round at Castello di Tolcinasco Golf & Country Club.
 
In the playoff, Fernandez-Castano found a fairway bunker off the 18th tee before Brier's tee ball trickled into the first cut of rough. Brier found the green with his second shot, but had over 30 feet for birdie.
 
Fernandez-Castano was on the back fringe and a similar distance from the hole as Brier. The Austrian putted first and his birdie effort lipped out. Fernandez-Castano's birdie putt missed as well and it was back to the 18th tee.
 
The Spaniard knocked his tee shot into the right rough, while Brier landed in the fairway. Brier's approach came to rest 15 feet from the hole, but Fernandez-Castano dropped his shot within 8 feet.
 
Brier's birdie putt rolled by the hole, then he watched as Fernandez-Castano sank his birdie putt for the win.
 
'It is a good tournament with a lot of tradition, I can't be happier,' Fernandez-Castano exclaimed.
 
Second-round leader Nick Dougherty struggled down the stretch as he shot 2- over par over the final nine holes. He had a 12-footer for birdie at the last to get into the playoff, but he missed on the high side.
 
The Englishman carded a 2-under 70 to share third place with 2006 champion Francesco Molinari (65), Henrik Nystrom (66) and Fredrik Andersson (64).
 
The event was shortened to 54 holes after lengthy weather delays Friday and Saturday. Sunday's third and final round was delayed at the outset due to fog.
 
Fernandez-Castano opened with a birdie on the first, but parred the next eight holes to turn in minus-10. Around the turn, he ran off three straight birdies from the 10th.
 
The 26-year-old stumbled to a bogey on 13, but erased that mistake with a birdie on 14. Fernandez-Castano came right back with an eagle on the par-5 15th to get to 15-under.
 
Fernandez-Castano nearly holed his approach at the 17th. He tapped in a birdie putt from within 6 inches to join Dougherty in the lead. The Spaniard two-putted for par from 35 feet out at the last to end at 16 under.
 
'I knew I had to play very well today, but five shots, especially on a course like this that everybody can make lots of birdies, I never thought that 65 was going to be good enough,' said Fernandez-Castano. 'I thought the winning score was going to be closer to 18 under.'
 
Brier birdied the first, then holed out for birdie at the second. After a birdie at five, he struggled to a bogey on six. He parred the next nine holes to remain at 14 under.
 
The Austrian poured in back-to-back birdies from the 16th to grab a piece of the lead. Brier two-putted for par from 18 feet to join Fernandez-Castano in the clubhouse at 16 under.
 
Dougherty looked to be running away from the field on the front nine. He eagled the first and birdied the third to move one clear of Brier at 16 under.
 
The Englishman birdied the ninth for the third consecutive round to move to 17 under, three strokes clear of eight players. Dougherty dropped a shot on 12 and bogeyed the 17th to fall out of the lead for the first time all day.
 
Raphael Jacquelin closed with a 7-under 65 Sunday to end in a tie for seventh at 14-under-par 202. He was joined there by Marcus Fraser, Andrew McLardy and Alexandre Rocha.
 
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    Watch: Strong start, rough finish for Koepka

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 4:45 pm

    U.S. Open hangover? Not for Brooks Koepka. The two-time national champion has carried over his form and confidence from Shinnecock Hills to TPC River Highlands.

    Koepka began his round with a par at the par-4 10th and then reeled off four consecutive birdies, beginning at No. 11.


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    Koepka turned in 4-under 31. Here's more action from his opening nine holes.


    After a par at the first, Koepka added a fifth birdie of the day at the par-4 second.


    A bogey at the par-4 fourth dropped him to 4 under, but just one off the lead. That, however, sparked a wild ride to the finish line as he also bogeyed Nos. 5, 7 and 9, and birdied the sixth. It totaled to a second-nine, 2-over 37 and an overall score of 2-under 68.

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    Lyle going through 'scary' period in cancer recovery

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:58 pm

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Jarrod Lyle's wife says the Australian golfer is struggling through a ''really scary'' period in his third battle with cancer.

    Lyle, 36, underwent a bone marrow transplant last December following a recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia.

    ''It's been 190 days since Jarrod's stem-cell transplant and we are going through a really rough patch at the moment,'' Briony Lyle wrote on jarrodlylegolf.com. ''I'm typing this blog on his behalf because he's not able to do it. Jarrod's not able to drive, struggles to prepare any food for himself, can't read stories to the girls and is not able to offer much help at all around the house.

    ''He is also starting to look like a very frail, sick person.''

    Briony Lyle added: ''We are both very aware of the amount of drugs and medication that has gone into Jarrod's body over the years but things are starting to get really scary at the moment. It looks as if this recovery is going to be the longest and hardest one so far.''

    Lyle has twice beaten acute myeloid leukemia, in 1998 and 2012, and was able to return to play professional golf.

    He made an emotional comeback to the golf course during the 2013 Australian Masters in Melbourne before using a medical exemption to play on the PGA Tour in 2015. He played four seasons on Tour, where he earned $1.875 million in 121 tournaments.

    Lyle has since returned to Australia permanently to be with Briony and daughters Lusi and Jemma.

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    Vermeer wins PGA Professional; 20 make PGA Championship

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:42 pm

    SEASIDE, Calif. – Ryan Vermeer won the PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, overcoming front-nine problems to top the 20 qualifiers for the PGA Championship.

    The 40-year-old Vermeer, the director of instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, closed with a 1-over 73 on the Bayonet Course for a two-stroke victory over Sean McCarty and Bob Sowards.

    The PGA Championship is in August at Bellerive in St. Louis.

    Three strokes ahead entering the day, Vermeer played the front in 4 over with a double bogey on the par-4 second and bogeys on the par-4 seventh and par-4 eighth. He rebounded with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-4 11th and also birdied the par-5 18th.


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    Vermeer finished at 5-under 283. The former University of Kansas player earned $55,000. He won the 2017 Mizuno Pro/Assistant Championship and finished ninth last year in the PGA Professional to qualify for PGA at Quail Hollow.

    McCarty had a 68, and Sowards shot 69. Sowards won the 2004 title.

    David Muttitt and Jason Schmuhl tied for fourth at 1 under, and 2012 and 2015 champion Matt Dobyns, Jaysen Hansen, and Johan Kok followed at even par.

    Marty Jertson, Brian Smock and Ben Kern were 1 over, and Zach Johnson, Craig Hocknull, Matt Borchert and 2016 winner Rich Berberian Jr. were 2 over. Nine players tied at 3 over, with Shawn Warren, 2017 champion Omar Uresti, 2014 winner Michael Block, Craig Bowden and Danny Balin getting the last five spots at Bellerive in a playoff. Balin got the final spot, beating Brian Norman with a par on the seventh extra hole after Norman lost a ball in a tree.

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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.”