Stolz Tops Lehman in Las Vegas

By Sports NetworkOctober 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
Michelin Championship at Las VegasLAS VEGAS -- Andre Stolz posted a 5-under 67 on Sunday to earn his first PGA Tour victory at the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas. He finished at 21-under-par 266 and won by a stroke over Harrison Frazar, Tag Ridings and overnight leader Tom Lehman.
 
Stolz was 217th on the PGA Tour money list before the start of the tournament, but the $720,000 paycheck moved him to 89th. The victory also gives him multi-year status on tour.
 
'It was pretty awesome,' said Stolz, a Nationwide Tour veteran. 'Winning, it doesn't matter where you are, it's the same job, to beat the guy you're playing with.'
 
Ridings played the back nine first at the TPC at Summerlin, the host course for the final round after play rotated between Summerlin, Bear's Best and the TPC at The Canyons for the first three rounds. He fired an 11-under 61, while Frazar posted a 67 and Lehman birdied the last en route to a 3-under 69 on Sunday.
 
Dicky Pride bogeyed the last when his drive went in a hazard. That gave him a final-round 69, which tied him for fifth place with Carl Pettersson (67) at 19-under-par 268.
 
Stolz trailed Lehman by a stroke after the third round, but birdied the first and used some spectacular iron play to get into first. He spun approaches to 3 feet to set up birdies at six and seven, then ran home an 8-footer for birdie at the ninth to reach 20 under par and take sole possession of the lead.
 
Meanwhile, players not near Stolz on the course, were making up ground on the leaderboard. Ridings started on the second nine and recorded four birdies, but his play on the front nine had him flirting with golf's magic number of 59.
 
He made a 75-foot birdie from off the putting surface at two, then birdied five of his next six holes. Ridings knocked his approach to 4 feet at the ninth and made the putt to get in the clubhouse at 20 under par.
 
'I really thought it would have to be 59 to get up there,' said Ridings. 'Next thing I know, I start making some putts and I birdied the last four holes. It was under the radar as far as I was concerned.'
 
Frazar, who lost in a playoff to Ernie Els at the Sony Open in Hawaii, appeared to be out of it with a bogey at the 10th, but he two-putted from 40 feet for birdie at the par-5 13th, and added a pair of birdies at 15 and 16 to join Ridings in the clubhouse at minus-20.
 
Stolz was tied for the lead with that duo, but Lehman made some noise on the par-5 16th. His second landed 18 feet past the hole and the 1996 British Open champion sank the eagle putt to join the leaders at 20 under par.
 
Stolz hit a 9-iron over the green at No. 16, and his chip stopped 7 feet short of the hole. The Australian stroked home the birdie putt to go one ahead.
 
At the 17th, Lehman hit a terrible tee ball that landed right of the green, and his second stopped 5 feet from the cup. His par-saving putt lipped out so Lehman fell two off the lead.
 
Stolz, who played with Lehman and was last to go on the 17th tee, hit a 6-iron 35 feet right of the hole and two-putted for par. That tee shot might have sealed the victory because with Lehman and Dicky Pride, the third member of the group, both right of the putting surface and water on the left, Stolz hit it in the perfect spot.
 
'That was a great shot,' said Stolz, referring to the 6-iron at 17. 'It's one of those shots that you've got to suck it up and hit a great shot. I hit a horrible shot there yesterday, so it was good to clear those ugly thoughts out.'
 
Stolz found the fairway off the 18th tee, but hit his approach 45 feet right of the target. His birdie try came up 4 feet short, but Stolz sank the par putt for his first win.
 
David Frost also played the back nine first and he fired a 10-under 62. He shared seventh place with two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen (65), Danny Ellis (63) and Tim Petrovic (69) at 18-under-par 269.
 
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    Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

    ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

    The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

    Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

    ''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

    The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

    Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

    ''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

    Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

    First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.

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    Henley will try to put heat on Casey in final round

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:55 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – While it will be a tall task for anyone to catch Paul Casey at the Travelers Championship, the man who will start the round most within reach of the Englishman is Russell Henley.

    Henley was in the penultimate group at TPC River Highlands on Saturday, but he’ll now anchor things during the final round as he looks to overcome a four-shot deficit behind Casey. After a 3-under 67, Henley sits at 12 under through 54 holes and one shot clear of the three players tied for third.

    Henley closed his third round with a run of five straight pars, then became the beneficiary of a pair of late bogeys from Brian Harman that left Henley alone in second place.


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Could have made a couple more putts, but to end with two up-and-downs like that was nice,” Henley said. “I felt a little bit weird over the shots coming in, put me in some bad spots. But it was nice to have the short game to back me up.”

    Henley has won three times on Tour, most recently at the 2017 Houston Open, and he cracked the top 25 at both the Masters and U.S. Open. But with Casey riding a wave of confidence and coming off an 8-under 62 that marked the best round of the week, he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him in order to nab trophy No. 4.

    “I think I can shoot a low number on this course. You’ve got to make the putts,” Henley said. “I’m definitely hitting it well enough, and if I can get a couple putts to fall, that would be good. But I can’t control what he’s doing. I can just try to keep playing solid.”

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    Back from back injury, Casey eyeing another win

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:36 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Given his four-shot cushion at the Travelers Championship and his recent victory at the Valspar Championship, it’s easy to forget that Paul Casey hit the disabled list in between.

    Casey had to withdraw from The Players Championship because of a bad back, becoming the only player in the top 50 in the world rankings to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event. He flew back to England to get treatment, and Casey admitted that his T-20 finish at last month’s BMW PGA Championship came while he was still on the mend.

    “I wasn’t 100 percent fit with the back injury, which was L-4, L-5, S-1 (vertebrae) all out of place,” Casey said. “Big inflammation, nerve pain down the leg and up the back. I didn’t know what was going on.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Thanks in large part to a combination of MRIs, back adjustments and anti-inflammatories, Casey finally turned the corner. His T-16 finish at last week’s U.S. Open was the first event for which he felt fully healthy since before the Players, and he’s on the cusp of a second title since March after successfully battling through the injury.

    “We thought we were fixing it, but we weren’t. We were kind of hitting the effects rather than the cause,” Casey said. “Eventually we figured out the cause, which was structural.”

    Casey started the third round at TPC River Highlands two shots off the lead, but he’s now four clear of Russell Henley after firing an 8-under 62 that marked the low round of the week.

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    Bubba thinks he'll need a Sunday 60 to scare Casey

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:15 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Perhaps moreso than at most PGA Tour venues, a low score is never really out of reach at TPC River Highlands. Positioned as a welcome change of pace after the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship offers a lush layout that often pushes the balance much closer to reward than risk.

    This is where Jim Furyk shot a 58 on the par-70 layout two years ago – and he didn’t even win that week. So even though Paul Casey enters the final round with a commanding four-shot lead, there’s still plenty of hope for the chase pack that something special could be in store.

    Count Bubba Watson among the group who still believe the title is up for grabs – even if it might require a Herculean effort, even by his standards.


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Watson has won the Travelers twice, including in a 2015 playoff over Casey. But starting the final round in a large tie for sixth at 10 under, six shots behind Casey, he estimates that he’ll need to flirt with golf’s magic number to give the Englishman something to worry about.

    “My 7 under yesterday, I need to do better than that. I’m going to have to get to like 10 [under],” Watson said. “The only beauty is, getting out in front, you have a chance to put a number up and maybe scare them. But to scare them, you’re going to have to shoot 10 under at worst, where I’m at anyway.”

    Watson started the third round three shots off the lead, and he made an early move with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 en route to an outward 32. The southpaw couldn’t sustain that momentum, as bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 turned a potential 65 into a relatively disappointing 67.

    “Bad decision on the par-3, and then a very tough tee shot for me on 17, and it just creeped into the bunker,” Watson said. “Just, that’s golf. You have mistakes every once in a while.”